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Boston 37, Us 36, United States 26, America 18, U.s. 17, Massachusetts 14, Blumenthal 10, Mr. Goodlatte 10, Mr. Markey 10, Grassley 10, Obama 10, Madam 9, Mr. Lynch 8, California 8, Virginia 8, Washington 8, New York 7, Russia 6, Texas 6, Wbz 6,
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  CSPAN    Public Affairs    News  News/Business.  

    April 23, 2013
    1:00 - 4:59pm EDT  

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paul was raising the question of drones, what is the policy we have for drones overseas, when when do we use them, who authorizes them? this are important questions in a congress has tries. in addition, during the bush administration, they were taking this authorization and they were using it open endedly. .
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>> i asked tom ridge in exchange he was testifying, i said, how many applications for these special wiretaps have been asked for? he gave me a number. i'm guessing now, i think he said 121. i said how many have been approved? and he said 120. 120 out of 121.
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what that indicated to me was that really thoughtful and in-depth review of these warrant requests was not being done. it was more or less a rubber stamp. that's what has raised our concern about the time frame with which the agencies have the opportunity to operate without congressional review. >> equal time, mr. markey. >> that's why i voted no. i voted no because in my opinion the civil liberties of americans were being short-circuited when it would have been relatively easy for the bush administration after they had initiated a fisa wiretap to go to a judge to make sure that the judge understood, actly -- exactly what was being done in the name of the american people. yes, we want to apprehend potential terrorists, but we also want to make sure we do it within the context of our constitutional system and the bush administration was, in fact, not adhering to it. >> all right. i'd like to move on unless you
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have anything further on this. gentlemen, we are now all away of how crucial surveillance cameras can be in solving a crime like the marathon bombings. many privacy rights groups don't like the proliferation of these cameras. the most recent records available show boston has less than 700 of them in place in the city anti-subway. by comparison new york city has 3,000 cameras in lower manhattan alone, and london has half a million of them. do we need more cameras here? if so, how should they be paid for, mr. markey? >> well, after 9/11 we had to make adjustments. alsoons, aught us they used box cutters. so we had to make the adjustments because we knew we were under attack. we did so. i led the effort on nuclear wer plants, l and -- lng
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facilities, etc. here while i am the chairman and founder of the privacy caucus in congress, i do believe that it is now time for us to consider more surveillance cameras. we see how helpful those surveillance cameras just were in solving this crime, very, very quickly. it's a balance between privacy and security. this attack upon us basically gives us a warning, and i think as a result we have to have an open-ended debate now about where we would be placing additional surveillance cameras within our society. and if that was to occur, i do believe that it should be the federal government that does pay for it. it should be a part of the national security expenditure which we make in order to protect our country. >> thank you. mr. lynch, 90 seconds. >> sure. first of all new york and boston are very different places. at noontime in new york you can have anywhere between eight million and 11 million people.
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in boston our population is about 600,000 people. per capita, we probably have a few less cameras in the city of boston than they do in manhattan, but i also think that the huge numbers of people almost by anonymity give people a certain level of privacy even in public in new york. it's very different here in boston. i would be very cautious. i think there are places where -- for instance, i did support an amendment to give amtrak an opportunity to put cameras inside stations in a highly dense situation. there are unique security risks there. we heard about opportunities that might be taken on our rail system, recently, coming in from canada. those -- we have more people, believe it or not, travel by rail in the united states every single day than travel by air.
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and most of them are on that northeast corridor traveling from washington, d.c., to boston. so he -- so i think appropriately used cameras can be helpful, but they must be used in places where people would not otherwise expect a high level of privacy. we've got to be respectful of those rights. >> gentlemen, we have less than four minutes until we have to take a break. after that break we'll move into some other topics. whether it's on this subject of the cameras or anything else we have discussed this first half-hour, why don't you split the remaining time until the break if you'd like to pursue any of your earlier comments. mr. markey, anything you want to add on the subject of national security and terror? >> i think it's time for us to begin to debate the allocation of resources, which we have, in order to protect our country. for example, on the drawing board right now is another $100 billion worth of nuclear weapons. nuclear weapons programs to be constructed over the next decade. i don't think that adds to our
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security in the way that additional investment in homeland security would. in being smarter, in thinking through what are the real threats to our country. the same is true for our nato expenditures in europe. there is almost a nonexistent likelihood that russia will invade germany and france. we could save $80 billion there as well and we could begin to reallocate where we put our resources in order to protect us against the real threats that are posed to our country in a modern era. >> mr. lynch. >> i would like to offer contrast here. there has been a great deal of media attention on the events of last week and the violence that was incurred. again, our hearts go out to the victims. however, i also read a very small article and i have been following in the press each day, the day after the attacks on april 15 we had two young
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men shot to death in rocks bury, the following day we had two young men shot in dorchester, the next day two more on the south end, one in brighton, so from then until today we have had i think now 11 men, young men, all of them of color, i believe, gunned down on the streets of boston. and you don't hear a lot about that. you don't hear a lot about that and our efforts against violence seem to -- seems to be some level of -- i don't know if it's immunity or people are not paying attention or maybe there's been some level of acceptance in society, and i think we have to devote the resources to security in those neighborhoods for boston's residents on a daily basis. there's terrorism of a different kind, domestic kind going out there and it's called crime, just crime in those
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neighborhoods where i think people deserve to be protected as well. >> thank you, mr. markey, 30 seconds. then we have to break. i'll give you the last word here. >> thank you. 52 children die in the united states each week from gun violence. 600 americans die. we have to make sure that n.r.a. in the future stands for not relevant anymore. we have to ensure that we put on the books the background checks, criminals and others who should not have them do not gain access to these weapons. >> on that note, gentlemen. thank you. we'll take a break. when we return, the democratic u.s. senate debate continues live from wbz, please stay with us. >> welcome back to the wbz "boston globe" democratic u.s. senate debate. our next question comes from
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cynthia, political editor of the "boston globe." cynthia. >> congressman markey, before the break you mentioned background checks. the question now is, after last week's collapse of background check legislation in the senate, one thing seems apparent. even with the emotional support of the fallout from the newtown massacre late last year, the political tactics of gun control advocates are not winning on capitol hill. how would you change that? >> i believe congressman lynch, you go first. >> thank you, cynthia. i think the president has come out with a very reasonable proposal. i support the elles of his plan and i'll probably add one of my own. he was asking for reinstatement of the assault weapons ban which i think is totally appropriate. even hunters and sportsmen don't need assault weapons. number two, eliminate one of the access to these high capacity magazines. i totally support that. his third proposal was probably
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the most reasonable. it has the support of about 90% of the team people in the united states today, that is to have background checks for people who should not have guns. and that's a proposal that historically even the n.r.a. has supported that. but lately in washington they have rejected that proposal itself. lastly, i think that -- this would be an amendment i would put in if we can get gun legislation on the floor of the house. and that is to increase funding for behavioral issues, for psychiatric issues, right at the ground level at the level of community health centers. so that behavioral issues funding would be in place for those people, because as we have seen over these last few massacres and shootings, there's -- whether it's newtown or whether it's aurora, we have seen an underlying psychiatric issue if we could have gotten it, could have got at that problem, we could have probably prevented that -- those
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massacres from happening. >> thank you, mr. lynch. mr. markey, changing the tactics of the gun control debate. >> thank you. people who know me know i take on the tough issues and i get results. back in 1994 there was another epidemic of assault weapons on the streets of the united states. this one was coming from the chinese. they had been selling millions of semiautomatic assault weapons for $130 and less. and they had become the gun of preference on the streets of our country, unfortunately. so i built a coalition, it was democrat and republican, to create the kind of political pressure so that we could, in fact, keep those weapons out of our country. and in 1994, by executive action, president clinton did in fact do that. after i had built the coalition. and they have been off the
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streets of our country since 1994. so, from my perspective that's what you have to be able to do. that's why i want to go to the senate. in order to build those kind of bipartisan coalitions, especially on the kinds of issues where there is now broad consensus across our country. these assault weapons on our streets, near schools, the only technology that should be near a child in a school is a computer and not a gun. especially the ones that have these kinds of magazines that really only belong on the battlefields of our country and may have been purchased in gun shows without crime cal background checks. i think you have to be able to work in a bipartisan fashion to put together the coalition that can successfully pass that kind of legislation. >> go ahead. >> in terms of the political tactics right now not working in washington, is there something you would do right now to change what is essentially a stalling of these political tactics? >> why don't you start, mr. lynch. >> if i could follow up. i think most people know my background.
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a few years back, more than a few years back my cousin brian was gunned down in the old colony housing project, next door where we grew up. i know what it's like to have a family member killed by gun violence. i think that far too many families in this country know that feeling. nd i know that there's a lot of -- there are a lot of families out there suffering from that loss. we met with some last night as a matter of fact, ed and i, at a forum over in dorchester. and i think if those members of the u.s. senate that rejected that proposal had a sense of what it was like, if there was just one, one member of the senate that knew what it was like for their family to go through that loss and that suffering, i think maybe that person, that person could
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convey that message to the rest of those senators to let them know what it's really all about. it's not about the n.r.a. it's been protecting our families. >> mr. markey. >> many revolutions have started here in massachusetts, including the first one. the abowl ligsig movement, the health care movement. the same thing has to happen. massachusetts has to be the leer. we have to lift our voice. a loft this is public education across the country. we have to make sure it doesn't go away. the n.r.a. is depending upon this issue dying. it's not going to. we have to make sure that our voices are heard. that this is an ongoing public political education process to -- that activates our country so that ultimately we implement this legislation. i hear the president, i hear joe biden, they are both saying they are not going to let this die. i think as each single day goes by, there's going to be razor
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blade sharp edges around this issue politically. we have to make sure people pay a price. ultimately too many children are dying. too many adults are dying in our country. and we just have to make sure that we get our coalition up and working. i think we can turn around those votes. i think too many of these members are within the vice like grip of the n.r.a. and they have to be basically pulled away from mitch mcconnell, pulled away from these republican leaders and told it's time for them to dot right thing. >> mr. lynch. >> i had a chance to fly back with president obama for the special mass that we had -- special service we had at the holy cross cathedral. i have to honestly say i have not seen my president so mad, so angry, so frustrated as he was at that vote that was basically forced by the n.r.a. on the republican caucus in the u.s. senate.
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i think that ed is right in the sense in that we have to make sure the forces for accountability are greater than the forces of the n.r.a. and of these special interest groups whoever they may be. there should be a course of independence. i'm happy to say that i have always taken that independence stand. i have suffered for it sometimes, and -- but i think -- look, i know who i work for in the united states house. i know who i'll work for in the united states senate. it won't be any democratic leaders. it won't be the people who picked mr. markey. it will be the people of massachusetts that i work for. >> mr. markey. >> look, i'm proud to have been endorsed by the "boston globe" yesterday. and by the sierra club. and by groups that are trying to end gun violence, as well as the league of conservation voters, and many unions across this state and across this contry.
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i'm running -- this country. i'm running in order to make sure the voices of the people of massachusetts are heard. and the globe and their endorsement actually mentioned how successful i have been in passing dozens of bills in a bipartisan fashion that are now on the books, now laws in our country. i think that's what we are going to have to do. we are going to have to find people, across the aisle, who we can work w. in order to pass legislation in this area of gun violence that will make a difference in the lives of millions of americans. >> mr. lynch. >> sure. i want to point out that we serve in the legislature with 435 members. you can't break for lunch without getting 218 votes. so whenever you hear a legislator saying i solve the cargo security issue, i'm responsible for port security even though i voted against t. i'm the one who is responsible for nuclear safety, i'm the one who did the assault weapons ban, look, the truth of the matter is ed has been on the side of big business.
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on ast at that -- 1/2 25 -- nafta on fishing rights, i'm with the fishermen, you're with the fish. on the banking issues, i'm with the taxpayers, and the people of america, you're with the big banks and the bailout. on all these issues on the telecommunications, you're with the telecommunications companies. >> that's quite a laundry list. let him respond. >> thank you so much. look, i did, i sided with barack obama, i sided with john kerry, i sided with barney frank. on ensuring our entire economy did not collapse. the bush administration for eight years had turned a blind eye to the fact that a casino had been set up on wall street that was now leading to a collapse of our economy. in 2008, i did not support any of the bush administration era
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financial regulation policies. but when the threat was that the system was going to collapse and hurt every family in america, i did vote to protect our financial system from collapsing and you did not. in addition, on telecommunications, yes, it was my legislation that broke down the telecom monopolies, cable monopolies that led to a broadband revolution beginning in 1996 that has created millions of jobs in the united states of america, including tens of thousands of them here in the massachusetts economy. and i'm very proud of that. and my name is on the legislation, steve. and i'm proud that my name is on much of that legislation because it was my job to go to washington -- >> that's my point. that's my point. you said we weren't -- that's exactly my point. are you proud of that. that's the problem. we have one cable company, comcast, that run from here to washington, d.c. there is no competition. there is one monopoly.
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we have verizon that has the whole market. just go home and open up your cable bill and ail see whether you are getting a good deal or no. that's the problem. in your telecommunications bill you promise the people we'll have a diversity of companies out there, diversity of democracy and media. we don't have that. we have two companies that control the whole market. the poor people in american mass, they are watching the yankees tonight. those people have suffered enough. they don't have broadband. are you kidding me? talk to the people in pittsfield. there are companies that won't locate jobs because they don't have broadband access. >> can i say this? steve is putting so many red herrings out here. we are going to have to put an aquarium in the middle of the studio, john. let me say this, jock. -- john. i think he doesn't understand this revolution. >> i think i do. >> i don't think you do at all. people can call verizon to get cable service. people can call comcast to get
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telephone service. people can have a satellite dish. r.c.n. is in our state. increasingly people are going to the computer to get video and voice. >> they have no other uses. >> they have multiple choices. it is no longer a single choice, steve. it is a revolution. and every young person out there watching this debate is really wondering what you are talking about. they have to select through all these different choices that they can now make that was not possible before the 1996 law passed. >> we are up against a break. you are on a roll both of you. take 30 more seconds each and then we will break. >> if you think that we get competition going on in the cable industry and telecommunications industry, you are out of your mind. it was a great article this weekend in the "new york times," and they had a financial analyst from wall street. and i'm trying to quote him here, but he said, he said, i am amazed that verizon continues to squeeze more and
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more money out of its customers. they are up to i think the average bill was 150 bucks. so even the people of wall street that are driven by profit are amazed, are amazed at the ability of one company to corner the entire market. >> let him respond. then we'll break. >> first of all they have not cornered the entire market. the people want to disconnect verizon they can disconnect verizon. they can go over to comcast. if they are unhappy with verizon's long distance service. >> they can yell to their neighbors. >> there is another half a dozen companies that people can go to. if they are unhappy with their video service, there are other companies they can go to. it's a marketplace out there. steve, it's a marketplace where consumers now have a choice. before 1996, one phone company. before 1996, one cable company. now with that law, multiple broadband buy the package.
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it's a pack average voice and video and data that you can buy from multiple companies that you can connect, disconnect at your wish. >> you are welcome to continue this after we return from a brief break. here on the wbz "boston globe" democratic senate debate. stay with us, please. >> welcome back to the wbz boston democratic senate debate. we continue on from cynthia, political editor of the "boston globe." >> this focuses largely on differences of biography and votes you both have taken in the past. what is the biggest policy difference you have with your opponent on an issue, on any issue, that the country is currently facing? >> mr. markey, you take this first, 90 seconds, sir.
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>> i think without question the obamacare vote is still front and center. the republicans are committed to repealing that bill. and that was the proudest vote of my career. it was the dream from harry truman through ted kennedy right through the obama administration. it ensured if you had a pre-existing condition you could not be denied coverage. it ensured that every child in america had health coverage. it ensured if you became sick, that you could not become bankrupt. 2/3 of all bankruptcies in the united states were because of illness. so i was very proud of that vote. and i think that it is something modeled upon the massachusetts law, and i voted for obamacare. i believe that it's important. i believe it goes right to fundamental values in our state and in our contry. -- our country. i believe it is a right and not
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privilege to have access to health care. i voted yes on obamacare. steve voted no. >> mr. lynch, 90 seconds. >> sure. that's one. let me just address that, that's probably not our biggest difference. the biggest difference between ed and i are really if you look at our records, and i go back, ed is a policy guy, and i'm a people guy. that's why i was explaining before that on all these fights with the bank bailout, ed was with the banks and i was with the people. on the fishing issues, i'm with the fishermen, ed is not. on the homeland security issues, i'm with the firefighters, the nurses, the police. ed voted no on those issues. on the telecommunications issues, i'm with the people in western mass. i'm not kidding you. they are watching the yankees
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game tonight because they don't get this cable -- they were promised back in 1996. so on all those issues and more, i'm with the people. and that reflects the type of leadership that i offer. i don't think that the problems that we are facing in fall river and worcester and brockton and springfield, i don't think they are going to be solved by a stroke of the pen in washington, d.c. you need somebody on the ground. that's been my reputation. i'm hands on. and that's -- i'm here. people aren't asking where i am. they know where i am. that's danchese in the style of leadership that i have that i would like to bring to the united states senate. >> thank you. mr. markey, rebuttal. >> thank you. after 9/11 i went over to logan airport because i knew that there were dozens of flight attendants that were all huddled at the hilton. i went over to visit them.
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i visited them because i knew how many of their friends they had lost. and how fearful they were themselves. and they told me what they needed. and amongst the things they needed was to make sure the cargo on passenger planes was screened as well. so i did that bill for those people at logan airport. the flight attendants that lived in my district and across massachusetts. in the telecom act there is a provision that actually pays for in every school in massachusetts and across our country, about 80% to 90% of all the phone bills, internet bills for dorchester, chelsea, lawrence is paid for out of my 1996 telecom act to make sure that every child has access. that there is a democratization to access of opportunity through education. i did that because i realized increasingly those kids did not have computers at home where the kids in the wealthier communities did. everything i do is animated by the lessons i learn, by the
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conversations itch with the people here in massachusetts -- i have with the people here in massachusetts and then i work to make it the law of our land. >> mr. lynch. >> you got to get over to roxbury and meet with the families. they don't like their cable, they don't like the deals they've got. they don't like having to put a dish in their window. they are concerned about the bills. let me tell you. it doesn't help that the unemployment rate in those areas is probably double what it is everywhere else. just in terms of going back to the health care, the bill. we had an opportunity, we had an opportunity to get it right. and we missed that opportunity. we could have forced the insurance companies to lower their prices. that was the idea of health care reform. we were going to force the insurance companies to lower their prices and we were going to use the savings to pay for the 31 million people who didn't have health insurance. now, there was -- ed made a boast back when this plan was put in that everybody would be able to keep their own doctor.
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not only has that promise been broken already with thousands of people across the state, i'm starting to worry if people will be able to keep their own hospitals as a result of this bill, because the costs keep going up, and now employers are running away from that, from providing health care to those families. that's what's happening right now. you go to any small business in massachusetts today, and ask them, what are you folks worried about today in staying in business? they'll tell you, it's the health care costs. that's what's threatening small business and small business creation in this state right now is the huge increase in health care costs. we miss the an opportunity. >> go ahead, sir. >> look, again. voting for president obama's health care plan was the proudest of my career. i just stand by it and steve has every right to have voted against it. i'm pro-choice and i'm endorsed by planned parenthood and naral. steve of course is not. i voted against sequestration because i was greatly concerned
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in 2011 that it was going to lead to the cuts in n.i.h. funding here in massachusetts, education here in massachusetts, clean energy jobs here in massachusetts. i voted no against sequestration because i did not trust the tea party republicans. steve voted yes for sequestration. there are many differences between the two of us. and this debate is really helping to highlight. >> go ahead, sir. >> add a couple things you missed out. ed, you sponsored an amendment to overturn row v. wade in the united states -- roe v. wade in the united states congress. you actually voted for a provision that would deny a victim of rape and incest an opportunity for an abortion. you kind of forgot that part. now, look, i'm happy that you changed your position because those are horrific, who are risk positions. t i just want to be clear, you are promising people you won't do that again. i'm telling the women out there i have never done that and will never do that.
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>> let him respond. >> thank you. i have voted consistently pro-choice for 30 years in the congress. 30 years, steve. and that's why planned parenthood and naral have endorsed me. you, on the other hand, within the obama health care bill, you voted to deny women the access to the insurance coverage which they needed in order to make that choice. when you had a choice to ensure that a woman in the military on a base overseas had a right to access to that health care procedure inside a military hospital, you voted to deny her that right inside of a military -- this is not 30 years ago, this is not 20 years ago. this is in the last few years you have done that, steve. that is why planned parenthood has endorsed me. there is a great difference between the two of us on that issue. >> response, please. >> the issue on the military base, those women are in uniform. they are under command. it's not -- they didn't all just wake up some morning and
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decide to dress in green. they are on a military base, you don't salute each other, yes, no, sir. the idea for women to get an abortion on a military base is a bad idea. we ought to give them medical leave, let them get off that base. if you really are in favor of free choice, let them get off the base, let them make their decision out from under the power and command of a superior officer. >> one minute, gentlemen. you can split it. >> i just think that if a woman is in the military and she's in some foreign country and she's being told by this amendment, she has to go out into that country in order to get that procedure, rather than have it -- >> she can come home. >> rather than having access to the medical care within that hospital, look, as far as i'm concerned, fire that general, fire that colonel. get rid of people who abuse women. one of the greatest ongoing tragedies we have in our military is the abuse of women in our military.
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>> ok. >> my point. my point exactly. if they are being abused on military bases, get them off there. this is my last minute? >> we are done. gentlemen, we are done. i'm going to have to stop because we are out of time. thank you both very much for a very interesting debate. thank you to cynthia of "the globe." that concludes tonight's debate. watch tonight at 11:00 for reaction and aal sifments please stay with wbz-tv and radio for extensive coverage throughout this important campaign and one more reminder, if you want to help the victims of the marathon bombing and their families, please consider donating to the onefundboston to learn more and donate. please visit onefundboston.org. thank you. don't forget, primary day is tuesday, april 30. get out and vote. then watch your vote count here on wbz. for all of us at wbz and the globe, thank you for watching.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] fun tune [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> two bills on the agenda. among the issues coming up later this week helping people with pre-existing medical conditions get health insurance. they are back briefly at 2:00. legislative work at 4:30 here on c-span. also on capitol hill this afternoon, we are covering a senate judiciary committee subcommittee hearing covering drone strikes. among the witnesses james cartwright. live at 4:00 on c-span3. >> one of the problems when the judges are appointing the public defenders is that the public defenders' job is reliant on their approval. on their are judged
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efficiency. how fast do they process cases. how quickly do they get through the docket? they are going to want a public defender that goes along and gets along. that does their bidding. that's a real challenge. in new orleans, for a long time. the system was also one public defender was assigned to one courtroom. and the same judge. so they were always arguing before the same judge. and the problem with that is that they were then kind of trading clients in a way. like, ok, my private paying client if you let me take his case to trial, i'll persuade this client to plead guilty. there was a sort of trade off going you could get your favors only on some of your clients. it really made for a corrupt system down there. >> if can you not afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. karen hooper on the right to
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free representation. sunday at 9:00 on afterwards, part of book tv this weekend on c-span2. >> senators jerry moran of kansas and richard blumenthal of connecticut today called on the federal aviation administration to post tone for two months the closure of air traffic control towers and furlough of its employees due to the automatic sequestration cuts. they introduced legislation earlier this month to prohibit the f.a.a. from closing 149 f.a.a. contract control towers due to the furloughing of its air traffic controllers. senator moran is a member of the appropriation subcommittee on transportation. senator blumenthal a member of the transportation committee which both oversee the f.a.a., this is 20 minutes. >> good morning, everyone. thank you very much for joining us on a topic we have been engaged in for a very long
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time. as you may recall, we made an effort in the continuing resolution to make certain that the issue of air traffic control towers was addressed. the administration had announced the closing of more than 140 towers. we believe, i believe that that's contrary to public safety, and i certainly believe it's unnecessary for the administration to take the position that they are taking. and in fact the amendment that i offered, that we offered was designed to give them clearly the flexibility to avoid the closing of air traffic control towers. you may recall that i made the lea of secretary ray lahood to indicate his support for the amendment. he told me while he would like to be helpful that the administration opposed that amendment. senator blumenthal and i had, to my knowledge, no senator who
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opposed this amendment. it was a very bipartisan effort, but because of the administration's opposition, i assumed it was never allowed to come to a senate vote. so we again believe, i believe, that the administration has the ability to avoid closing air traffic control towers. and i believe they should use that flexibility and that discretion, but in the absence of that, senator blumenthal and i have introduced legislation to prohibit the closing of those air traffic control towers. and that -- the sponsorship and support for that legislation continues to grow. we introduced it just a few days ago. already we have 33 co-sponsors. 18 democrat members in the senate. 15 republican members in the senate in support of the prohibition against the closing of those air traffic control towers. what we are looking for is just some common sense, some recognition that we have the ability to prioritize, i'm a member of the senate
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appropriations committee and a member of the transportation appropriation subcommittee. administrator wirka was in our committee last thursday in which i found no satisfaction in his responses. again indicated to him that the f.a.a. could make different decisions than they are currently making. he indicated to me, in fact my question to him was, why is it a higher priority to reduce the funding for air traffic control towers as compared to the funding of unobligated balances in capital and research accounts, and he indicated that he did not have the authority to use those dollars, my point to him was that's exactly what our amendment provided was the authority to use those dollars to use them to keep air traffic control towers opened. the f.a.a. has concluded that there is a two-month hiatus in the closing of the towers due to lawsuits filed by a number of airports across the country.
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i in the interim that ought to give senator blumenthal and i the opportunity to pursue legislative remedy unless the administration in my view comes to their senses and solves this problem without legislation. we are inquiring of chairman rockefeller conversations that have occurred with his staff. we hope that the commerce committee would consider this legislation. i will continue to encourage both chairman rockefeller and ranking member thune to do exactly that. we have now seen latest manifestation of this issue in the furloughing of air traffic controllers. and again i could have no better ally, no firmer colleague in this evident than senator blumenthal. i very much aproshite his help and support. he led the effort in the budget on this issue, and had greater success than i did in the continuing resolution. thank you. >> thank you. let me first of all thank senator moran for his
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leadership. he's been at the forefront of this effort. and i have been very proud to be a member of his team which now includes senators from the states that are affected and many more will be affected. more than 40 states around the country have these contract towers which are vital not only to r safety, but also economic development and jobs. what's at steak here is the risk to air traffic that -- stake here is the risk to air traffic that are minimized, but also economic development in areas like new haven, where tweet airport would be substantially impacted. it isn't just the life star flights that come into the airport, or the organ transplants that fly in by private plane, but also the economic development in the new haven area, bioscience, and
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medical research that is aided by the airport there that would be very substantially impacted by the closing of that air traffic control tower. and so this move has widespread implications in the regions that are affected and across the country in air safety, but also economic development and job creation. that's why it really is a matter of common sense as senator moran said so well. it's a matter of basic common sense that saving the $50 million at stake here is not really saving at all. wise ct, it's penny pound-foolish. it is long-term a cost to the nation and i think all we are doing is enabling the administration to do what we think it can do right now, but says it can't, and that is to move the money in the f.a.a.
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accounts from one account to another. and i think that a vast majority of the united states senate agrees with us and obviously the vote on the budget shows it and i'm looking forward to moving forward in the next two months, if necessary. my hope is that the administration will do administratively what we think it has the legal authority to do. >> yes, ma'am. >> i have a question about the furloughs of the controllers. what do you think the what if ation -- anything do you think congress can and should do? >> i hope in the hearing process that we have asked chairman rock fell earn the commerce committee to have in regard to air traffic control towers, i have no doubt but this issue of controllers will be front and center as well. so i think that it's certainly
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an issue that the committee ought to examine that congress ought to a dress. -- address. again i think the administration does have the flexibility. if they don't, perhaps it's easier for me to say this than senator blumewren tall, but we attempted to give the president the authority to have the flexibility of picking and choosing. there was to be no necessarily across-the-board cuts. a s.a.p. was issued that the president would veto the legislation that gave that flexibility. one, i think the administration does have the opportunity to make decisions about prioritizing spending within the f.a.a. and within the department of transportation. but if they do not, they ought to be asking, surprising thing to me is that this administration, this president, doesn't want or doesn't even ask for the ability to re-establish the priorities. my experience in serving in congress with two previous
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administrations and what i read from history is every president wants more authority not less. and the attempt to give the president the authority to make those prioritization decisions is something they are not even asking for. >> let me just add, i believe the administration ought to postpone these furloughs. at least for 30 days to give the congress an opportunity to act as a member of the commerce committee, i think that our authority certainly would permit a more flexibility and con-- flexible and constructive response to the sequestration requirements. at a time when there is heightened security or concern about security around the country, in the wake of some of the recent developments in this contry, the additional crowds, airports nfusion at potential confusion at airports, at the very least there should be postponement of those furloughs not only to
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avoid cost inconvenience but to address the heightened concerns about security. >> do you agree with some republicans saying this is an administration trying -- >> what i believe is there ought to be a postponement of these furloughs to give all of us a chance to revisit the constraints that are imposed by sequestration. >> there's going to be pressure to come up with the money to stont furloughs. how will that affect your effort to transfer money to keep the control towers opened? >> i think there's broad support. i would see these issues together. both involve the air traffic controllers and furloughs, as well as the closing of air traffic control towers. involve the safety of the flying public. involve the inconvenience of those who travel by air. they effect the economy. they effect our national
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security. i see them both tied together. i would guess there would be a more universal solution to this problem in which both control towers and air traffic controllers would be considered in the same legislation. so i see them moving along together as a team in finding a solution. senator blumenthal is a member of the commerce committee, i as a member of the appropriations committee, i certainly have the sense that members of the appropriation committee, including chairperson barbara mikulski who came to visit me indicating a willingness to help to find the necessary resources to make certain the control towers are not closed. there is broad consensus and widespread support for solving these problems. again i would put the onus on the administration to solve the problem, but in the absence of their willingness or desire to do that, then i think there's strong congressional support for solutions for both the control tower issue, which we got involved in a long time
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ago, and now the most recent manifestation of this circumstance with the furloughing of air traffic control tower controllers. interesting to me, administrator horte, in front of the appropriations subcommittee on transportation last thursday, and made to my knowledge no reference or statement in regard to what he was going to announce the following day. i would encourage grater cooperation and commune -- greater cooperation and communication between the f.a.a. and congress, particularly the committees of jurisdiction for the f.a.a. in simply not -- i don't know how you come up with a plan that you announce on friday that you are furloughing on sunday. seems to me there would be a longer lead time to give airlines and airports greater ability to respond. so the circumstance we find ourselves in is surprising to me. and unnecessary.
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i certainly would join with senator blumenthal to suggest a delay by the administration to give congress -- administration a chance to change their mind or congress a chance to respond. >> do you think the administration sees a political benefit having the public understand or feel impact from the sequester? >> it's hard to attribute motives to people and the decisions they make i explained to you secretary lahood indicated to me he would like to be helpful but the administration opposed the amendment. there is -- his explanation was we are only interested in long-term solutions not short-term solutions. a very unsatisfactory answer when you are dealing with a continuing resolution which is nothing but short-term lutions. the entire resolution was how to fund the government from now until september 30. so no satisfactory explanation for why the administration
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opposed our amendment. and it certainly has led to the speculation by many, republicans and democrats, that there is an effort, to try to demonstrate that the sequestration is something that is so painful that it cannot be accomplished without causing dramatic consequences. i would remind folks as i said before, i didn't fote for sequestration in the first place. i think -- didn't vote for sequestration in the first place. i think across-the-board cuts are inappropriate, irresponsible. we ought to be having the appropriations cross sess to prioritize spending. we ought to have the hearings to determine what we can afford and can't afford. so i'm not here to defend the process that we are going through as far as sequestration, but i am here to say that there is a better response by an administration than the one we have seen to the circumstance that we are in. no one has explained to me satisfactoryly why they would oppose taking $50 million from unobligated balances to keep
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air traffic control towers up and running. in the absence of that, it lends itself to the belief that there is something else afoot here trying to demonstrate in a political sense that sequestration is something that cannot -- the country cannot afford. again hard to attribute motives, but i would say that's the best explanation i have heard. i have no other. >> i would just add i take the administration at its word. that it needs this authority to avoid the sweeping ramifications of closing these air control towers. so we are going to give them that authority, if they need it. t the two are linked because closing the contract air traffic control towers puts an additional burden on the control towers that are staffed by f.a.a. employees. the response of the administrator when i asked him
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about tweed, for example, which has commercial flights, is that they could use surrounding control towers, whether new york or bradley airport in hartford, and now those air traffic control towers are going to be further constrained in their staffing. very o systems are really closely linked, and that's why this step is important to keep those air traffic control towers opened at the contract airports as well as a postponement in the furloughs, which will enable all of us to see what the legal authority s. where the cost and inconvenience and economic impact can be reduced, and make sure that we don't inhabit the economic recovery that is going -- inhibit the economic recovery that is going all too slowly. >> as i said in the debate on the continuing resolution, if
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the administration is trying to make the political point that sequestration is difficult to accomplish, very damaging to the public, to the american citizen, this is not a place to make that point. let's have the debate about sequestration. let's have the conversation about whether or not we can afford a reduction in the growth in spending. but let's not put those who travel in this country's safety at risk to prove that political point. it is to me it certainly seems as if politics is playing the significant role in determining hat actions the f.a.a. are taking and every indication that i have from conversations with my colleagues is, it emanates from the white house. last question. >> is it your sense you think congress will act on the furloughs separate from a broader budget deal? just in isolation?
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>> my view is that sequestration is here through september 30. we ought to try to address the specific challenges. again richard may have a different view than i do, but we ought to try to address the specific challenges that that presents in regard to air traffic control towers and air traffic controller furloughs. not wait until after september 30. but we need an appropriations process that is working. i cheered barbara mikulski on in her efforts to get back to regular order. this is where decisions should be 345eud in prioritizing our spending. in the interim we ought to solve the problems we can. and solve the problems that affect the safety of the american people. > i would just add, whatever the politics here, the effort of the united states congress ought to be to reduce and minimize the harm resulting from sequestration. there is no point in doing more harm. our mott motto or mantra -- our
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motto or mantra should be as the doctors say, first do no harm. that's what's resulting from this approach to sequestration in an area that is not a thrill or luxury for many people. travel is essential to the functioning of our economy. in this day and age, air travel is integral to business development and job creation and all of us have a stake in making sure that we do nothing to harm that interest. in addition to air safety. >> i think senator blumenthal and i's call is that the congressional process ought to work. we ought to solve this problem. and we'll live to debate the consequences of sequestration and the appropriations process in the future. in the interim let's solve the problem with air traffic controllers and furlough of control tower operators. >> and this is a very bipartisan effort.
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we have bipartisan support. not only senator moran and myself, but also in the co-sponsors who have joined us in this effort. we can all agree that we should move forward on this bill. >> thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> we hope the museum inspires people to serve. serve their community, serve their country in some way. we really didn't want to be a school. we wanted to be a do tank. so i don't know if there is a lesson there. i do know that laura and i decided to go in a different direction with the -- apart
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from the museum with the component of programs -- from which programs will emerge. >> watch the dedication ceremony of the george w. bush presidential library and museum from southern methodist university in dallas, live thursday morning at 11:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3, c-span radio, and c-span.org and tune in earlier at 6:20 eastern on c-span for a conversation with the former first couple. >> one of the problems when the judges are appointing the public defenders is the public defender's job is reliant on their approval and judges are judged on their efficiency. how fast do they process cases? how quickly do they get through the docket? so they are going to want a public defender that goes along and gets along. that does their bidding. that's a real challenge. and in new orleans for a long time the system was also that
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one public defender was assigned to one courtroom. and the same judge. so they were always arguing before the same judge. and the problem with that is that they were then kind of trading clients in a way. like, ok, my private paying client, you let me spend a little time and take his case to trial, ok i'll persuade this client to plead guilty. there was this sort of trade off going like you could cast in your favors only on some of your clients. it really made for a very corrupt system down there. >> if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. karen houppert on the right to free representation. sunday at 9:00 on afterwards, part of book tv this weekend on c-span2. >> live at capitol hill where the u.s. house will gavel in momentarily. we don't expect them to be in long. they'll return at 4:30 for
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legislative work. just two bills on the agenda today. both making technical and clarifying changes to u.s. code. they will gavel back for that legislative work at 4:30 eastern. meanwhile the u.s. senate returns to work. debate on the internet sales tax bill. at 2:15 eastern. that's on c-span2 and now to the house floor here on c-span. the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray.
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god of the universe, we give you thanks for giving us another day. the house returns from a long weekend meeting with constituents as our nation continues to process of the impact of dramatic explosions in boston and texas. concerns about budget, taxes, immigration, gun violence, among others, reveal the considerable divisions both in congress and among the american populous as well. as opinions and emotions surge loudly and with little indication of easy solution, we take this quiet moment to ask your blessing upon the members of this people's house. give each member peace and quiet discernment to work toward common solutions that might ease our divisions and
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open the way to new hope and confidence that we as a nation will continue to shine as an example for all the world to immolate. may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory. men. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. ms. foxx: mr. speaker. the speaker: for what purpose does the gentlelady from north carolina rise? ms. foxx: mr. speaker, pursuant to clause 1, rule 1, i demand a vote on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. the speaker: the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the ayes have it. the journal stands approved. ms. foxx: mr. speaker. the speaker: the gentlelady from north carolina. ms. foxx: i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present.
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the speaker: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on in question will be postponed. the pledge of allegiance today will be led by the gentlelady from minnesota, ms. mccollum. ms. mccollum: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? mr. wilson: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker: without objection. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, on sunday, the federal aviation ministration began furloughing air traffic controllers. as a result, american families are expected to have longer security lines, flight delays and more hardships while traveling. yesterday, the white house press secretary placed politics
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over leadership by blaming congress. last year, to address the issue, the house acted responsibly by passing two pieces of legislation to replace sequestration. sadly, the senate refused to consider our efforts and the president vowed to veto them. once again, the president and his administration chose to act selfishly for political pain by cutting the resources for american passengers rather than reducing costs elsewhere and minimizing sequestration's impact. american families deserve real leadership. the president must start prioritizing the well-being of the american people over petty partisan politics. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from north carolina seek recognition -- excuse me -- from minnesota seek recognition? ms. mccollum: to address the house for one minute and to
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revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. mccollum: thank you, mr. speaker. congress should have never passed sequestration. these reckless cuts are affecting our communities and in indian country. once sequestration was passed, no one thought how it would impact travel communities. our federal government is failing in its obligation to tribal communities and sequester has made the problem worse. right now in minnesota, native american children are losing tutoring services and cuts to teachers. families that receive health care friendian health services are not protected from sequestration. the health and some cases even the lives of tribal members are in danger. this week the interior subcommittee will hear from tribal leaders. we will hear how congress has an obligation an an opportunity to correct this wrong and congress must take action. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back.
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for what purpose does the gentlewoman from north carolina seek recognition? foxx knox i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute -- ms. foxx: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. foxx: mr. speaker, the president's federal aviation administration could use a little help. faced with the task of trimming its budget, only 5%, basically just returning to 2010 spending levels, they've decided to furlough employees and cause flight delays. how can this be their only option when the f.a.a.'s budget has grown almost 110% over the past 15 years? rather than inflicting unnecessary pain on the american people, president obama and his f.a.a. should be cutting waste. within the f.a.a.'s budget, there are $2.7 billion in nonpersonnel costs that should be scrutinized before the president or his transportation secretary cry doom's day or delay. examples include $500 million taxpayer dollars spent by the
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f.a.a. on consultants, $143 million on operation costs for the f.a.a.'s 46 aircraft and $200 million on supplies and travel. the president's f.a.a. officials have the discretion to reduce such excess and apply savings to the essentials. they should stop punishing the american people with flight delays or threats of shuttered air traffic towers and compromise safety and use the powers they have to cut taxpayer funded waste first. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from wisconsin seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. chair. congress is now more than one week past our legal deadline to produce a final budget for the american people. mr. pocan: this is not due to a lack of activity by either chamber. in fact, the house has passed a budget, the senate has passed a budget. yet, there's no movement toward creating a final national budget. why?
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because republicans in both the house and the senate refuse to appoint budget conferees. mr. chair, the people of wisconsin and the nation deserve a federal budget that reflects our values and lays out our priorities, just like we do in wisconsin and other states. without a budget we cannot respond to the emerging needs or cut wasteful programs, and we cannot replace the irresponsible sequester cuts that are hitting our families and communities. this is unacceptable. it's unnecessary. i'm a member of the budget committee, and i do not agree most of what's included in the budget that our committee passed. but i do believe we need to sit down with the senate and in an open and transparent process come to a budget solution. there's no excuse for inaction. republicans should immediately appoint budget conferees so we can produce a budget that promotes economic growth and supports our middle-class families. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana seek recognition? >> thank you, mr. speaker. i request unanimous consent to
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address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. many of the promises that were made to justify obamacare have been broken. contrary to what was promised, not everyone will be able to keep their current health coverage, and contrary to what was promised, the average family premium has risen significantly, not drop. the projected cost to taxpayers have skyrocketed, despite assurances it wouldn't add a dime to our deficit. mr. messer: worse yet, the really sick who can't find health care because of pre-existing conditions are being denied promised health. lost coverage, higher premiums, more taxes and bigger government, that's the reality of obamacare. now, one of the senate's creators of obamacare is warning of the impending train wreck coming with
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implementation of the health care exchanges next year. mr. speaker, this congress needs to derail obamacare and start making promises we can keep. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, during national park week, we celebrate perhaps america's best idea and remember that these parks belong to all the people of america. mr. costa: since they are part of our national heritage, it is every american's obligation to ensure that we preserve these national treasures for the next generation. yosemite is one of the crown jewels of our national park system, and it has a hearts in the place of californians as well as this californian. today, i'm introducing a bill
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with senator dianne feinstein that would expand yosemite national park to 1,600 acres that were originally intended to be part of the part -- park. it would protect its most vulnerable, western boundary. our bill has the broad bipartisan support of local government, state officials and many other groups. it has been said there is nothing more american than that of our national park system. with this bill, we are restoring this national treasure to its original boundary and showing that we remain dedicated to this truly american idea. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina rise? >> madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> madam speaker, this administration seems bound and determined to wield their sequester automatic across-the-board cuts like a
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club in order to drive their political agenda. their latest move, this politically motivated flight delays being felt by travelers at airports all across america. the federal aviation administration apparently believes that the only way to implement these cuts is to furlough thousands of traffic controllers, tying up the skyways all across this country. mr. meadows: it would appear that they've missed the $2.7 billion in poe text savings that they've -- potential savings that they've chosen to ignore. did they need to spend $325 million in travel costs, especially when their operation budget has already grown by 109% since 1996? these unnecessary flight delays are just the latest proof that this administration is clearly more interested in making a political point than coming up with serious solutions to the problems that our nation faces. we need to cut wasteful spending for more efficient, effective government that would foster a healthier economy and
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create jobs now. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. burgess: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, tomorrow before this house we'll consider h.r. 1849, the helping sick americans act. this bill is a win-win for our constituents. it's compassionate towards the most vulnerable. unlike other parts of the affordable care act which only expand broken government programs, this program will provide private health insurance programs to sick americans. the bill is fiscally responsible. it reduces the country's deficit while redirecting funds from a slush fund while the administration yuelingses the prevention of public health fund money to prop up their train wreck of the implementation of the affordable care act. conservatives actually want to use it to help sick americans. this bill helps those with
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pre-existing conditions that have no other options and provides a fiscally conservative policy that reduces the deficit. i ask members to support h.r. 1849 when it's on the floor tomorrow and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one inute. >> 1,677 days, mr. speaker, have passed since we first started discussing the keystone pipeline, a project that would create -- depends on whose numbers you use -- from 2,000 to 20,000 jobs. $2.05 billion in workers' salaries and $65 million in local tax revenue. on friday i sent a letter to the state department demanding action on this keystone pipeline. the project is in the best interest of all americans. up to 83,000 barrels of oil per
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day could be delivered to gulf coast refineries which is equal to roughly half the amount of oil we import from the middle east. my question for the president and secretary kerry is this -- what is the holdup? 70% of americans want this project because they understand that it is a step closer for this country to energy independence and security. mr. weber: i hope the president and secretary kerry are listening because it is time to build this country. i'm randy weber, and i love living in america. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? . >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. lance: mr. speaker, as we continue to seek answers to the bombings in poss boston and pray for the victims and their families, we are working on
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important issues here in washington. this past tax season american taxpayers spent billions of dollars in enormous amounts of money to complete their tax filings. roughly nine out of 10 americans relied on paid professionals or commercial software to prepare their tax returns. the small business owners found themselves spending more resources complying with the tax code rather than creating jobs. that's why i am committed to making our tax code simpler, fairer, and less expensive for america's working families and businesses. mr. speaker, the time is now to act and to create a tax code that is easier to navigate and promotes growth to the benefit of individuals, small and large businesses alike, and the u.s. economy as a whole. this is the year to reform our tax code to benefit all
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americans in a bipartisan capacity. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> we are a nation of builders, we all agree we need to get the nation's economy growing again in order to create jobs. the manufacturing sector will may an integral role in creating jobs for hardworking americans. as a member of the energy and commerce committee, subcommittee on commerce manufacturing and trade, i look forward to working with my colleagues as we continue our hearing series focused on our nation's manufacturing sector. i enjoy highlighting the strong manufacturing base in the southern district of missouri and showcasing the amazing work of businesses in the district. i'm looking forward to our annual manufacturing tour next month and meeting with the hardworking tireless
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missourians who are the backbone to a strong manufacturing sector in the united states. mr. long: i remain hopeful that these opportunities will result in a growing manufacturing base and more jobs for southwest missouri. our nation needs a strong and robust manufacturing sector which will help create jobs and grow our nation's economy. i will continue to support that effort and allow our nation's manufacturing sector to prosper. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. smith: mr. speaker, our hearts are heavy because of the boston bombings that killed and maimed so many. and we need to wait for all the facts before deciding how the terrorist attack impacts immigration policy. but this much i hope we can agree on, the safety of the american people must come first.
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at the least we should secure our border and bolster interior enforcement before we legalize millions of illegal immigrants in the u.s. to give amnesty to millions without knowing whether some of them want to do us harm is to jeopardize american lives. we should go slow before making any changes to immigration policy that don't put the interest of americans first. we owe that to both the victims and the survivors. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair announces the speaker's appointment pursuant to 22 u.s.c. 276 and the order of the house of january 3, 2013 of the following member on the part of the house to the british american interparliamentary i -- group. the clerk: mr. holding of north carolina. the speaker pro tempore:
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pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until approximately >> the house comes back at 4:30 p.m. helping people with pre-existing conditions get health insurance is among of those. live coverage of the house when it returns on c-span. just a reminder, the 9 2013 congressional directory is out. it's a handy guide to the current congress with updated listings for members of the house and senate, contact information, district maps and committee assignments. also details about cabinet members, supreme court justices and the nation's governors. you can buy yours for $12.95 plus shipping and handling by rdering online at c-span/shop. >> jessica g. and olivia is second prize winners in c-span's tuned cam competition.
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they attend eastern middle school in silver spring, maryland. their message to the president focuses on health care reform. >> in america, there are many people who do not have access to health care and are not able to receive the benefits that come with it. president obama is aiming to change this with the affordable care act. more commonly known as obamacare. >> the affordable care act is a wide spanning and fully encompassing health care act intended to provide insurance to millions of americans who are uninsured in this country. >> president obama's health care reform plan imposes new regulations on medical insurance companies that prevent them from dropping sick clients and refusing people because of pre-existing conditions. it also requires all americans to have health insurance or pay tax starting in 2014 with an
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individual mandate. >> another big part of obamacare is to expand access to affordable health care coverage, so a lot of people were not covered by health care because their employer didn't cover it or was too expensive. >> people who believe that the law is fair and constitutional believe that everyone should have health insurance, that everyone should have an equal opportunity to access health care. they believe that the reform will lower the cost of health insurance and greatly improve the economy. >> the industry in general feels that people need access to these products. they save lives. they keep people healthy and out of more expensive modes of care. that means keeps them out of, say, a hospital setting or out of a physician's office. >> it also allows for younger people to stay on their parent's insurance longer.
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so for college students today that are taking five years because they're doing an advanced degree, it allows them to be kept on their parent's insurance until they get a job that maybe offers it. >> i am a strong supporter of the affordable care act because it does all the things i just mentioned. number one, it provides more patient protection. number two, it provides more affordable health care to more people. number three, it will, i believe, bring down the overall cost of health care and then it provides people who are on medicare, seniors, with additional benefits. so, for example, they get free preventive care services, which we want to encourage, because we want people to catch their diseases early. and it provides seniors a little bit more help in paying for their prescription drugs. >> others oppose the health -- they say it
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strongly disapprove the government controlling their health care. >> now, why is the bill so in need of repeal? it's going to have a devastating impact on the american economy, on fiscal policy, on the quality of american health care and on healthy political discourse in the united states. there are a -- >> lr a number of important elements in the law, particularly around medicare repayment that could lower the costs. the challenge is for a lot of reasons that bob discussed. these are not automatic and they are not going to be easy to implement. it is going to take some real changes in medicare processes and some changes in how the rest of the health care system interacts with medicare. >> the concern is that obamacare, if you understand it in a derogatory way, will ultimately mean rationing health care to americans, giving them less than they paid for. perhaps even what sarah palin
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calls death panels, we'll start rationing care to people on their death beds who would die rather than consume more health care. think we know that is patently false. it does give rise to an important question which is how do we contain health care costs in this country? >> the cost of medicare, medicaid is skyrocketing. it's clearly not going to be sustainable, and i think it's questionable whether obamacare has really provided the solution to the fundamental cost of health care. >> many politicians have proposed new ideas to replace obamacare. governor mitt romney writes -- >> what we need is a free market, federalist approach to making quality, affordable health insurance available to each american.
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>> recently, the supreme court upheld the affordable care act stating that the federal government did have the power to tax those without health insurance but did not force the people to buy health insurance. >> but here's the danger when the federal level takes a position where they can tell someone whether they purchase a product or a service, where does this stop? >> the opponents of the affordable care act, in that case, while arguing that congress did not have authority to pass the affordable care act, it was beyond congress' limit as the limits are set out in the constitution of the united states. and one of the arguments you may have frequently heard was, if congress can force you to purchase health insurance, which is what the individual mandate does require, then congress can force you to buy anything, even broccoli. >> in president obama's next term of office, how do you
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think the president should address all of the debate concerning obamacare? >> i think you move to the next step. there's still a lot of things that need to be put into place. the administration has to work through them to put out rules and regulations so that states know what to do and so that insurers know what to do and what pharmaceutical companies know what to do, patients, physicians. >> so the biggest challenge for them is to keeping the pieces of it intact over time. so that's their challenge. >> you know, health care costs keep growing and growing and growing. part of that is there's always new procedures being invented, new drugs, and that's great on one hand because that helps, you know, cure diseases, but if we can't afford it, if we just have so many people who are
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retirement age and receiving these benefits, at some point you have to make some choices bout how can we curb those costs. >> well, first, i think we need to fully implement obamacare, implement the affordable care act. there are many important pieces that need to come into effect and that really should be our focus, on implementing the existing law in a way that accomplishes its purposes. >> how do we equalize cost and minimize cost both to employers and ultimately the patient and the government and make people feel safe in their quality of health? i think that's the challenge for president obama's next term in office. >> because of the controversy and debate that it has caused, the affordable care act is one of the most important issues that president obama should address in his next term. we desperately need to reform our current health care system. by reforming the health care system into something we can all agree on, we can improve
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the economy and benefit all americans, even the ones who cannot currently afford health care. >> congratulations to all the winners in this year's student cam competition. to see more winning videos, go to studentcam.org. >> the u.s. house returns for legislative work in about two hours, 4:30 eastern. up until then we are going to be able to show you a good bit of homeland security secretary janet napolitano testifying earlier in support of the so-called gang of eight bipartisan immigration bill. she said it's time to modernize the system. she stands ready to work with congress. her testimony was originally set for last friday, was rescheduled due to developments in the boston marathon bombing case. senate judiciary committee has held three hearings now on the examination of the gang of eight's proposal. chuck grassley of iowa is the ranking republican, from earlier today.
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>> good morning, everybody, and i know we're in ar tight schedule. the secretary has to testify in front of appropriations later today, but i do want to commend you, madam secretary, and the men and women of the department of homeland security who worked so hard on the coordinated national security effort in boston. middle of the night, early
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morning, middle of the night briefings on what has happened and the way your department, local and state police, the f.b.i. worked together as a model -- i think a model for the rest of the world, especially how quickly everybody's able to move. the patriot day successful, the successful capturing of the other suspect is of course why you weren't here that day when we talked. i well understood what your and you ooked like were at the command post. now, a number of other concerns were not part of the bipartisan legislative effort for comprehensive immigration reform. we demanded that you testify before the committee. you had been here in february, testified extensively about this effort, but i thank you
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and i asked you to come back, you said you were perfectly willing to. i think it's a testament to your longstanding commitment to reforming the immigration system. you're willing to return just two months after your last , pearance here and, of course what's happened within the last would be easy to talk about last week. i remind all senators that this is their opportunity to ask you directly about the border security, economic opportunity, immigration modernization act, which, of course, is why you're here. this is many of the cabinet that's going to be directly involved in implementing the legislation. i repeat, as i said before,
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that you and president obama have done more in the administration's first four years to enforce immigration laws and strengthen border security than in years leading up to this administration. you have more than 21,000 agencies eaggets at the border patrol, more than at any point in history. new technologies have been deployed to the border. apprehensions along the border is the lowest we've seen in decades because people have deterred from trying to cross. according to the report biff the migration policy institute, the united states now spends more money on immigration enforcement agencys than it does on all our major federal aw enforcement put together. so i think it's time to start alking about reforming imthe
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-- reforming the immigration system. we've done a lot but that should not be a bar to having good immigration reform. along pastime for us to reform our immigration stfment we need an immigration system that lives us to american values, one that allows families to be reunited and safe. one that treats individuals with humanity and respects due process and civil liberties. one that shields the most vulnerable among us, including children and crime victims and to m seekers and refugees reinvigorate our communities. commend many for their extra work here. i'm concerned that what some are calling triggers to long delayed green cards to those who are working -- wanting to
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make full and contributing participation in our society. we should not fall dreamers who have brought here as children, we should not make people's future status depend on border enforcement, conditions of which they have no control. i'm disappointed the legislation does not treat all american families equally. i believe we have to end the discrimination in gay and lesbian families have in our immigration laws. i am concerned about changing the visa system for siblings and concerned about how the new point base visa system will work in practice. i really have to question whether spending billions more in defense between the united states and mexico is really the best use of taxpayer dollars and a country where we're
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furloughing air traffic controllers because we can't pay for them. throughout our history, immigration has been an ongoing source of the renewal of our spirit, our creativity and our economic stream. young students brought in this country by loving parents seeking a better life, hardworking men and women who support our farmers, innovative technology companies are creating -- or creating businesses of their own. oogle and intel and other -- yahoo!, companies that hired hundreds of thousands of americans, our nation continues to benefit from immigrants. so let's uphold the fundamental american values that values my in their lemented children and my immigrant grandparents gave to theirs. this law needs to be fixed and the opportunity is now.
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senator grassley. >> without repeating the chairman, i thank you for the work that you were involved in in boston as well. we welcome you, madam secretary, i appreciate the immigration bill that our committee will be taking up in about 16 days. the bill before us is a starting point. most of the gang of eight acknowledge that the bill is not perfect. it will go through an amendment process. i'm encouraged to see one co-sponsor of the bill is taking suggestions on this website of how to improve the legislation. we hope to have the opportunity to do just that. there are 92 other senators that must get their chance to amend and improve the bill. as i said yesterday, we have a duty to protect the borders and the sovereignty of this country, but i'm concerned that the bill we're discussing repeats the mistakes of the past and won't secure the
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border and stop the flow of illegal migration. yesterday, i brought up the border security language contained in the bill. not one person disputed the fact that legalization begins upon sumation of both a southern border security and fencing strategy. thus, the undocumented become legal after the plans are submitted despite the potential that the plan could be flawed and could be inadequate. once the secretary certifies that the security and fencing plans are substantially deployed, operational and completed, green cards are allocated to those here illegally. there's not much of a definition of substantially in the bill. agricultural workers and dream youth are put on a different and expedited path. if enacted today, the bill would provide no pressure on this secretary or even any future secretary to secure the
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borders. madam secretary, you have stated that the border is stronger than ever before. you're -- you've even indicated that congress should not hold up legalization by adding border security measures and requiring them to be a trigger for the program. every senator that i've heard on this subject have said that borders must be secured. short of that, this bill makes the same mistake we did in 1986 and surely we don't want to screw up like we did 25 years ago. i'm interested in hearing from you, madam secretary, about what problems the bill fixes and our current immigration system. aside from legalizing those who are here illyly and potentially for -- illegally and potentially for their families who have yet arrived and to clear backlogs, what does the bill do to fix the system? i'm concerned that the bill provides unfettered and unchecked authority to you and
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your department and your successors on almost every other page there is a language that allows the secretary to aive certain provisions of the law. i haven't encountered it yet but i heard that every other pages that a waiver and it could add up to 400. the secretary has $6.5 billion immediately at disposal with no accountability to congress. she can excuse certain behavior, determine what documentation or evidence is successful, exempt various criminal actions as grounds of ined a missibility. it reminds me, as i -- of ined a military. it reminds of the delegation in the health care reform bill that makes it almost impossible for the average citizen to understand or predict how the law would work. so i think it doesn't apply to just this bill. but we have a situation that congress ought to legislate
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more and delegate less. there's a lot of talk about immigration reform in the light of recent terrorism cases. i have not advocated that we quit talking about immigration reform. rather, i'm advocating we carefully review the immigration laws and the administrative policies in place to ensure we're addressing critical national security issues. the tragic events that occurred in boston and the potential terrorist attacks of the u.s.-canadian railroad are reminders that our immigration system is directly related to our sovereignty and national security matters. for example, we know that the 9/11 hijackers abused our immigration system by overstaying their student visas. we also know that people enter illegally and stay below the radar. it has been reported that the older boston bomber traveled to russia and his name was misspelled on his airline ticket, so how could authorities not realize that he had departed the united states?
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the bill before us, we can see entry-exit system, because it does not require biometric identifiers and does not deploy a biometric system to land ports. if this bill were to pass as is, we'll continue to rely on airline personnel to properly type a name into a computer and not on biometric identifiers. moreover, if the background checks on the 12 million people who are here illegally are anything like they were in the boston bomber, we're in serious trouble. if these two individuals used our immigration system to assist their attacks, it's important to our ongoing discussion. moreover, if the background checks on the 12 million people who are here illegally are riddled with problems that appear to be involved in this case, it raises serious questions about the department's ability to proper investigate such individuals. yesterday, we heard testimony that the immigration bill would weaken asylum law. the asylum fraud is a serious
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problem. courts are clogged with asylum cases, and it's no secret that terrorists are trying to exploit the system. the bill would do away with one-year bar that makes aliens come forward in a reasonable time frame if they're seeking asylum. it also allows any individual whose case was ever denied based on the one-year bar to get their case reopened. those who file frivolous asylum applications can still apply for legalization program despite the current provisions that bars any relief under the immigration law. one witness also testified that the bill provides exemptions for certain criminals, making some eligible for legalization under this bill. those who have been convicted of serious offenses may still have the ability to apply for the registered provisional immigrant status. we also heard testimony from an immigration and customs enforcement agency about the --
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about the system -- the we also heard -- testimony about an immigration and customs enforcement agency or agent about the inability of our agents in the field to do their jobs. the group that devised this bill refused to hear from enforcement agencies. it seems unthinkable that law enforcement would be left out of the room when the bill was put together. finally, nothing in the bill deals with student visas or improving the way we oversee schools who accept foreign nationals. yesterday, over a decade after 9/11, a terrorism case has come to light that may involve an individual who overstayed student visas. these are important national security matters and are worthy of our discussion as we work on comprehensive immigration bill. i look forward to the testimony
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today. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. madam secretary, it's over to you. >> well, thank you, leahy, senator grassley, members of the committee. i appreciate the opportunity to appear again to discuss the need for commonsense comprehensive immigration reform. first, let me say a few words about the attack in boston. our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims, their families and with the city of boston. d.h.s. continues to support the ongoing investigation, working closely with the f.b.i., our federal and our state and local partners. and i know all of us here are committed to finding out why this happened, what more we can do to prevent attacks like this in the future and making sure those responsible for this unconscionable act of terror face justice. we will learn about this attack just like we have in past instances of terrorism and violent extremism.
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we will apply those. we will emerge even stronger. in this case, law enforcement at all levels joined together and shared knowledge, expertise and resources. many had been specifically trained in improvised explosive device threats and the response was swift, effective and in many ways will serve as a model for the future. i think the people of boston and the greater boston area showed tremendous resilience over the past week and so did america. today after 10 years of investments in training and equipment and improved information sharing, our cities and communities and our nation are stronger, more prepared and engaged and better equipped to address a range of threats. this legislation will build on these gains, strengthening both our overall national security posture and our border security. the draft bill captures the core principles enunciated by
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president obama in las vegas and reflects the bipartisan spirit necessary to achieve comprehensive immigration reform. the bipartisan work reflected in this bill will strengthen security at our borders by funding the continued deployment of manpower, infrastructure, air cover and proven effective surveillance technologies along the highest trafficked areas of the southwest border. these efforts have already significantly reduced illegal immigration and increased our seizures of drugs and contraband. they must be strengthened and sustained. the draft bill does that. the bill also helps eliminate the jobs magnet that fuels illegal immigration. it holds employers accountable for knowingly hiring undocumented workers and requires the mandatory use of employment verification. employment verification actually supports strong border security. it also supports the integrity
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of our immigration system and the american economy by providing businesses with a clear, free and efficient means to determine whether their employees are eligible to work here. by helping employers ensure their work force is legal, we promote fairness, prevent illegal hiring that serves as a magnet for undocumented migration across our borders and we protect workers from exploitation. consistent with the president's principles, the bill also provides a pathway to earned citizenship for the millions of individuals currently in our country illegally. we must bring these people out of the shadows. many have been here for years, raising families, paying taxes and contributing to our communities and to our economy. knowing who they are is critical to public safety. indeed, as we just saw in boston, information from our legal immigration system often supports response and investigation.
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it must be evident from the outset that there is a pathway to citizenship, one that will not be quick or easy but that will be fair and attainable. individuals will need to comply with many requirements, including documenting a history of work, paying penalties in taxes and learning english. dreamers and immigrant farm workers will also be included, and those who complete the rigorous requirements will be able to achieve lawful permanent resident status more quickly. lastly, the bill will improve our legal immigration system. it raises the arbitrarily low caps on legal visas so that the visa system, as a whole, better matches the needs of our growing economy. it continues to protect vulnerable immigrants, including victims of crime and victims of domestic violence. and it creates new temporary worker programs to enable critical industries to address labor shortages while protecting american workers. businesses of all kinds and
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sizes must be able to find and maintain a stable legal work force if our economy is to continue to grow. as we make it easier for businesses to get the workers they need legally and more difficult for undocumented workers to find jobs, this will relieve pressure on the border and reduce illegal flows. the majority of americans support these commonsense steps and d.h.s. is ready to implement them within the timelines that the draft bill provides. we can and we will achieve the core provisions of the bill. the time to modernize our immigration system is now. we stand ready to work with this committee and with the congress to achieve this important goal. the introduction of this legislation is indeed a milestone. so i thank the committee for -- progress in development developing a comprehensive immigration package. i look forward to working with
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you and answering your questions today. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. and thank you, again, for an extraordinary busy time in being here. now, the warm bill requires an additional $1.5 billion to build more fence along the southern border. we built 650 miles of fence along the border. d.h.s. estimates that cost at $2.5 billion. remember you saying in 2005, show me a 50-foot wall and i'll how you a 50.1 ladder. about the case in boston is we ve limited resource, i'm concerned that the significant gains in the last 4 1/2 years,
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is $1.5 billion the most cost-effective way to spend our limited resources? >> well, mr. chairman, you know, obviously if the congress decides that's where they want to put some money, we will comply, but i will share with you that we would prefer having money not so designated so that we can look at technologies, they can be ground-based, air-based, what have you, manpower, other needs that may be more fitting to actually prevent illegal flows across the southwest border. so if we had our druthers, we would not so designate a fence fund per se. >> you would like flexibility? >> we'd like flexibility. >> i assume there's an annual maintenance cost of $1.5 million for the fence. >> yes. there is operational and maintenance costs.
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there are holes put in it, etc., etc. we're very good at building the infrastructure now. we know what works better than what we started with, but it's not just building. it's maintaining. >> also questions -- environmental questions, wildlife questions, people's property along the border. >> yes, we've had -- in fact, the last remaining mile that we haven't completed of the fence that the border patrol has designated hasn't been completed because it's still tied up in property litigation. >> former secretary chertoff waived a range of environmental and historic preservation, other laws for purposes of fence construction. this bill also provides waiver authority. what goes into your thinking of when and if you waive that authority? >> well, it's a very careful process. i'll begin by saying that we now have m.o.u.'s with the
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department of agriculture, department of interior concern the federal lands that are along the border that grant us, for example, access to build infrastructure, access if we're in pursuit and those sorts of things. so some of those logistical problems that existed before have really been worked out. but obviously when you build a fence and it goes right through the middle of a downtown area or right through a university campus and we've had those situations, there are lots of values to be considered. >> when you were here a couple months ago, speaking of imgrarkse i explained my concern about proposals -- immigration i explained my concern about proposals of citizenship is over the mountain. i want to be clear. i want citizenship not just be available but obtainable. sometimes there are two
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different things. this legislation has several triggers that has to be met before people could earn green cards. people who come over wait for 10 years to get their green cards, but then they're going in a state of limbo. that worries me. are there triggers in the legislation truly attainable? >> as i review the legislation, there are really three triggers. one is the submission of the plans and their substantial completion, as senator grassley referred to. one is the implementation of a national employee verification system, and one is the implementation of an electronic entry-exit system. those particular triggers, if you want to call them that, are already part of our plans. and i believe that we can satisfy them in the upcoming years.
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>> well, and lastly, i want to keep on time here, in the wake of the boston bombings, some have raised concerns about the security screenings we have in place for those seeking asylum here in the united states. now, i do not believe the boston bombing is a reason to stop progress, consideration of this legislation. i trust our law enforcement people to be able to handle that case and our courts are the best in the world. i have no worry about that. even those who oppose this legislation, and i think there are several provisions that make our country safer, you talk about the security screening that's currently in place for refugees and asylum seekers and does this legislation help that? >> if i might, let me start with what the process is now
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and share with the committee that over the past four years we have increased both the number and the coverage of the vetting that goes on. but if someone is seeking asylum, they first have a so-called screening interview to see whether they have presented any credible fear of persecution. that includes biographic information and biometric information. that's run against all law enforcement holdings and also the holdings of the nctc and also virtually every d.o.d. holding. second point in the process, they submit to a full scale interview. at that point -- and this could be several hours. t's usually accompanied by affidavits, other supporting documentation. one of the things we do there, by the which, is we fingerprint
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the individual to make sure it's the same individual who originally presented. so we have identity verification. we again vet. we run through all the databases and so forth. after the prngs to the asylum -- presentation to the asylum fficer, there is supervisory to the asylum officer. they look at country conditions, other things we gather. after a year you can convert to l.p.r. status, green card status. at that point you're vetted yet again, run against all the law enforcement databases, all the nctc databases and so forth. after five years, you can apply for naturalization. at that point you're vetted again and you're reinterviewed again. and lastly, if you're granted naturalization between then and the actual ceremony, right before the ceremony, we revet everyone for final time. that's the current situation.
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the existing bill builds on that, and one of the important things the existing bill does, quite frankly, from a law enforcement perspective, is bringing all of the people out of the shadows who are currently in the shadows. that r.p.i. process, very, very important. >> thank you. senator grassley. >> we heard testimony yesterday , and i have to say i share this feeling that there's a principle behind this legislation of legalized now and enforce later. now, you can disagree with that, but that's kind of where i'm coming from. i assume you read the bill and if i'm wrong on that let me know because my questions come to some specifics within the bill. since you've -- do you agree with my opening statement that upon enactment the bill simply requires security and fencing strategy to be submitted by
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your department before legalization begins? >> it requires submittal of the plans both for infrastructure and for border security, two different plans. . >> can you tell the american people now why they should trust the purposes of legislation to secure the border after 12 million people get legal status, drivers license, work permits and the ability to live and work freely in the country? >> the bill builds on the very large investment the country has already made in the southwest border and sustains that. and i can say, as a former governor and attorney general from that area, it's the sustainment part that is so very important. because that's where we've xperienced gaps in the past.
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>> the bill supports border security in a way that i suggested in my opening comments which is to say that the two major drivers of illegal migration across the southwest border are labor and the fact that it takes so long to get a legal visa. the bill deals with both of those problems in a way that gives us more measurements, more metrics, more identities, more things we can use from a law enforcement purpose. so it supports in that fashion the border security measures already in place. >> the bill prohibits officers from removing aliens who, quote-unquote, appear eligible for legalization. until a final decision has been made on the application. does this bill tie the handles of immigration agents in the same way that the 1986 amnesty
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prevented them from enforcing the immigration laws? >> i don't believe so, senator. i think that what the bill does is in effect say, get the r.p.i. process up and running, move it as quickly as possible, do the background checks, do the security checks, get the identifications out and during that purd, don't remove somebody who -- period, don't remove somebody who's not a priority individual. >> yeah. i thank you for starting out your statement in reference to the boston situation. so i feel comfortable asking this question, several media outlets have reported that two individuals responsible for the tragic bombings were immigrants from chechnya. before the brothers came -- before the brothers became the focus of the investigation, authorities questioned a saudi student who reportedly was on a terrorist watch list.
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i sent a letter to you this morning asking for answers to questions about the bombers and how they interacted with your agency. i trust that you would promptly respond, given the impact that this could have on the immigration debate. questions, with regard to the saudi student, was he on a watch list and if so, how did he obtain a student visa? >> he was not on a watch list. what happened is this student was -- really, when you back it out, he's in the wrong place at the wrong time. he was never a subject, he was never even really a person of interest. because he was being interviewed, he was at that point put on a watch list and then when it was quickly determined he had nothing to do with the bombing, the watch listing status was removed. >> ok. in regard to the older brother two of the people, was your department aware of his travels to russia? and if you weren't, the reason?
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>> the travel in 2012 that you're referring to. yes, the system pinged when he was leaving the united states. but the -- by the time he returned, all investigations had been -- the mat heir been closed -- the matter had been closed. >> is it true that his identity document did not match his airline ticket and if so why did t.s.a. mills the discrep think? >> -- miss the discrepancy? >> there was a mismatch there. by the way, the bill will help with this because it requires that passports be electronically readable, as opposed to being manually input. it really does a good job of getting human error to the extent it exists out of the process. but even under -- even with the misspelling, under our current system there are redundancies and so the system did ping when
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he was leaving the united states. >> i'm done. but can i make a correction in my statement? >> certainly. >> i might leave on this impression, where i said yesterday, over a decade after 9/11, a terrorism case has come to light that may involve an individual overstayed his student visa. i'd have to say, we just simply don't know. so my statement was incorrect on that point. >> thank you. >> senator feinstein. >> thank you very much. welcome, madam secretary. i have five questions so i'm going to try and go very fast. >> i'll try to answer very fast. >> great. first one is on e-verify. it's our understanding from your testimony in february that you are planning to develop a pilot e-verify program for agriculture. i asked chuck conner, who was representing the agricultural industry yesterday, if they had heard of this and they had not. when will this begin and who is
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responsible for that implementation? >> it's under the implementation of c.i.s. we are exploring things like mobile sites that can be moved around to different fields and other rural areas. that may not have offices. my dream would be to actually have some sort of app. but the bill, as you know, doesn't trigger or doesn't have the e-verify for ag workers until year four. and i'm very comfortable sitting here today telling you that by year four we will have multiple ways by which employers can verify legal presence for work purposes. >> good. will you have your people talk with mr. conner? >> yes. >> thank you. flight schools. a g.a.o. report released last year found that many flight schools obtained student and exchange visitor program certification from immigration and customs enforcement without
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being certified by the f.a.a. according to g.a.o., 167 out of 434 flight training schools, 38% today do not have the required f.a.a. certification. i'm told i.c.e. is often unaware of instances when the f.a.a. revokes certification for flight training providers. and i understand that i.c.e. is working with f.a.a. to address this issue. what updates and assurances can you provide about i.c.e.'s efforts to improve its communication with the f.a.a. to address this issue? >> i think we're very far along and by the way, senator, we're one to ing from civas civas two which is governing education institutes which educates visit holders. this will also help solve that
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problem. >> yes, good, i'll goat that in a minute. but the asylum scrining process in this bill -- screening process in this bill, under the present system, as i understand it, applicants for asylum must undergo a credible fear interview to determine whether the applicant has a credible fear of persecution in his or her country of origin. if the screening officer determines that the individual has a credible fear, the application moves along for further consideration. this bill, as i understand it, streamlines the refugee and asylum screening process partly by allowing a screening officer to grant asylum immediately following a screening interview. if this provision were to become law, how would the department ensure that asylum applicants are adequately screened for national security threats? current d.h.s. regulations permit u.s. c.i.s. to confer
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with the state department to verify the veracity of an asylum applicant's claims. to what extent does u.s.c.i.s. use that authority and are there barriers that prevent full information sharing between the agencies? my concern is that you don't -- lined to the am point where the checks are not adequate. >> well, first, as i mentioned, we have greatly improved the information available from the get-go in terms of what databases are checked. the law enforcement, the national security databases, and so forth, and that starts from the beginning when we collect the initial biographic and biometric information. secondly, with respect to the state department, we have extensive and very good relations with the state department and the refugee asylum area where the issue is credible fear. >> ok. but you will check whether that's an accurate statement?
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or whether credible fear exists? >> yes. we don't take it at face value. there are a number of ways we look into it. >> the concern is that this bill truncates the process, as i understand it. i would just ask to you look at that. and now let me turn to the -- what you just mentioned, the student visa fraud. this is something that i've been interested in since 9/11. when there was a lot of it in the country. i just looked at some schools, going back to 2008. most in 2011, some 14 schools, i'm sorry to say, eight of them in my state of california, where there are very suspicious activities going on. now, if i understand this correctly, you've got 10,500 schools approved by d.h.s. to accept nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors.
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last year senator schumer and i sent a letter to immigration and customs enforcement to express our concerns about student visa fraud. and the lack of information sharing among various federal agencies. the response let that are we received noted that i.c.e. is developing a new database system that will improve theoretically i.c.e.'s ability to monitor international schools. international students and the schools they attend. the second program is expected to improve the ability to avoid fraud, of which there still is plenty. is it on track to be fully operation albie 2013 when this bill goes into effect? >> that is my understanding, yes, senator. >> we'll count on it. >> it needs to be part of this. and again it goes to the fact that this bill actually improves and builds on security
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matters we already have in hand. so, yes, we're well under way on cevis 2 and my anticipation is, yes, it will be implemented by the end of the year. >> so everybody knows, we're going to senator cornyn next and others. >> good morning, madam secretary. i want to start with something that i agree with you on and that is on the set-aside for border fencing. texas is different as you know from arizona and california and other places. while the border patrol has recommended some tactical use of fencing there, i don't believe and i don't think you believe you can speak for yourself, that building a fence across 2,000 miles of southern border is the answer. s that really a combination of tactical infrastructure, technology. and boots on the ground. so i would like to see a little more flexibility for the
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department in coming up with the best strategy to actually achieve the goal. so you and i agree with each other on that, right? >> let the record show we agree. >> that's good. that's good. good start. ok. now, here's the harder part. and that is, in the bill, as you point out, there are different measures for effective control of the border. and it calls for a 90% effectiveness rate. the problem i have is do you know how many people actually cross the border unbeknownst to the department and effectively get away? in other words, we don't know the denominator. we know the numerater because we know the people who are detained. but we don't know the people who actually attempt to get across and are successful in doing so, unbeknownst to the border patrol, do we? >> that's one of the problems with using effectiveness rate, as your only measure. now, as we continue to buy and put in place all the technology
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, according to the plans we've now submitted to congress for each sector along the border, i think we'll have greater confidence that we will have situational awareness as to that denominator. but i will share with you, senator, that that is an inherent problem, knowing the actual denominator. >> i've always thought it bizarre that we measure our success by the people we catch and not the people -- and don't focus on the people who got away as a measure of our lack of success. but it's an inherent problem, as you point out. >> it's a straw man. you know, it's a number that is used as one of the many that, taken together, when you look at all the other kind of statistics along the border, give you kind of an overall picture. under the bill, the department would have to gain effective control over high-risk sectors along the
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border and right now based on 2012 numbers, that would be tucson, the rio grande sector and the laredo sector. obviously two in texas, one in arizona. the problem with that is that if the cartels and the human traffickers know where the department of homeland security is going to concentrate its efforts, they're going to reroute and redirect their efforts into the areas that aren't as hardened and aren't as secure. wouldn't you agree? >> well, this is the way i think it will work, senator. which is to say, first of all, all sectors will have protection in them. the question is where you have basically surge or even more protection. and you want to put your resources where the traffic is greatest. if the traffic shifts, the resources will shift. and the ability we have now is we're much better able to kind
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of predict ahead of time where we think some of that traffic is going to move and preposition. >> the bill provides for an annual review in terms of identifying which of those sectors, where the department would concentrate its resources. my concern is that a cartel and the human traffickers are far -- nimble and are able to an annual decision just seems to me to be unworkable. >> if i might, senator, that's what the draft bill provides. ut we regularly review those numbers and make decisions so we would not wait for an annual review to make adjustments. >> and i guess, again, on the number of people who get across, who get away so to speak, there was a story in the "los angeles times," i'm sure you're familiar with, talking about radar technology, vadar i think it's called. >> vader.
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>> vader. that the story suggested that as many as half of the people who cross the border get away undetected by the department of homeland security. do you have any reason to disagree or differ with that estimate? >> oh, yes. that story was unfortunate and misleading. didn't understand the technology which was just being tested, hasn't even been used yet. we're taking something that was used in the battlefield and transferring it to the border and there are adjustments that have to be made. but it also didn't understand -- didn't take into account the fact that there were apprehensions being made around the vader. so i can give you a more detailed briefing in a more private setting which i think would be more appropriate but i will tell you that article was very incomplete and very inaccurate. >> i would welcome that. my last question, if i may, is,
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since 1996, the law of the land has mandated the implementation of an automated entry-exit system. here we are 16 years later and it still hasn't been done. and my question is, what gives you any confidence that it will be done now under the terms in this bill? if it hadn't been done over the last 16 years. >> two things. one is that we have now enhanced our ability to, as i said before, use different databases and link them in different ways. we have already submitted to the congress our plan for moving toward electronic verification upon air and sea exit. so that's the plan we're already implementing. and in terms of a biometric exit, we piloted that in detroit and atlanta.
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there were a lot of issues about it and one of the issues, quite frankly, senator, is our airports really aren't designed to have those kind of exit lanes. just a plain old architecture problem. we think we can basically achieve that with the electronic records verification that we are already putting into place, according to the plan we've given to the congress. and that will be for both air and sea. >> thank you. i hope you get to land at some point in the future, too. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. cove >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you, secretary, for being here. thank you for all your good work last week. last year a bipartisan group of senators, including myself, crood the jolt act, which modernizes and expands the visa waiver program, reduces visa wait times and i think you know, as the former governor of arizona, which is a great tourism state, although not quite as good as minnesota with
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our current foot of snow in april, but we introduced this bill to speed things up and there have been some dramatic changes made already. and i wouldn't -- want to know if you support this part of the bill and if you think it's a good idea and what you think of using the conferencing more to speed up the numbers. as you know, week of got -- we've lost 16% of the international tourism market since 9/11. we're finally seeing some improvements without changes to our security in terms of speeding up the times and every point we add is over 160,000 jobs in america. >> the administration is supportive of the jolt act. we are supportive of the visa waiver program, with appropriate safeguards for security. and video conferencing, we're using it in several other areas. so that's something that -- that's really a decision, tactical decision. and by the way, it was 90 degrees in phoenix today. >> ok, all right, i get the message. but we have the mall of
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america. many local and state law enforcement officials, particularly those in border towns have had their resources stretched very thin. and can you speak to the potential benefits of this bill and the resources to state and local law enforcement agencies of passing this comprehensive reform and improving security on the border? >> yeah. i think the bill does an excellent job of footing more resources at the border and specifying resources to be used in a stone garden type of arrangement. with our state and local law enforcement authorities, along the border. i think there's some special provisions in there for arizona. but it is a good and very supportive state and local law enforcement provision with respect to the border security title of the bill. >> very good. going after fraud and abuse in government programs is extremely important. including in the immigration
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area. d.h.s., the department of labor and the justice department have to use their auditing and prosecutorial authorities to combat the misuse of all these programs and protect foreign workers from abuse which really in turn protects american workers. does this bill improve the tools and resources that the government has to prevent or identify abuses and problems with their immigration system? and what do you think of the -- what are the components to this bill, how do you think this helps? >> yeah. it really helps. the bill just increases the body of knowledge that we have available to us because it requires more by way of verification, by employers and secure s, it requires a identification to be issued. it gives us more biometric capacity. we will also be able to take the r.p.i.'s database and dump it into our photo matching database and that in and of itself will be very helpful.
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>> right. i think that is something we'ven all been talking about in the past week, the difference of knowing who is here and being able to get that information which really alludes us right now. >> i think one of the real significant improvements made by this bill is to bring people out of the shadows. we know who they are, we know where they are and by the way, from a police perspective, once these people know that every time they interact with law enforcement they won't be subject to removal, it will help with the reporting of crimes, the willingness to be a witness and so forth. >> right. and that gets to really the last thing i was going to ask you about. as you know we worked hard to get that in the violence against women act. week been there but we were trying to expand the humbings-visa. we understand how perpetrators, especially rapists and domestic abusers, use the law against
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victims. they basically say, well, if you're going to report this, i'm going to have you deported. and could you explain how the work of the gang of eight helps to really, with public safety, by protecting these victims so they're not afraid to come forward? >> what the bipartisan bill does is it expands the number of u-visas that are available. and also the t-visas that are available. so from a crime-victim standpoint, and our ability to prosecute those who are abusers, traffickers and so forth, it's very helpful. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. and i just remind members again that on thursday we're going to meet at 9:30 instead of 10:00. because of a security briefing e're having. we'll have the bill that senator lee and i have --
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[inaudible] the privacy act. i think it will go through well in the committee. but we'll need the quorum. so, senator lee, you're next. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i do look forward to that hearing. that's going to be a fun one. and thank you, madam secretary, for joining us today. some of the questions that i have as i've read through this bill over the last few days relate to the amount of discretion that you were given, you and your successors will be given over time should this become law. some have suggested there are as many as 400 instances of digsy -- discretion and i don't mean to suggest that administrative discretion is categorically bad. sometimes it is necessary. but i want to look at a couple of instances where you've got discretion that would be vested in your office and ask you about how that might work. now, in establishing the border fencing strategy, you'll have a certain amount of discretion as
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to how much additional fencing might need to be deployed upon -- on the southern border region. you'll have discretion to certify when your fencing strategy is substantially complete. now, as i understand it, president obama stated in a speech in el paso in may, 2010, that he believes the border fence was basically complete. so, one question i have for you is, if you determined that little or no additional fencing along the southern border is necessary, what do you -- when do you think is the soonest you might certify that that's been completed? >> well, if that part of the bill is passed as it's currently written and chairman leahy and i already had a colloquy about that, i think we would move very quickly. we have, as i said before, sector by sector technology plans.
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we have not been sitting back waiting for immigration bill to pass to secure this border. so we would move very quickly. to look at the overall fencing requirement. >> do you agree that the discretion that's granted to you under this bill should, should it be enacted into law, could permit to you make a finding that, you know, it's complete, it's substantially complete without building any additional fencing? >> well, right now the border patrol already pursuant to existing law, an appropriations law, has done an extensive study of where fencing makes sense along the southwest border. they determined that there were 653 miles where it actually makes sense and as snorn cornyn mentioned, there are vast stretches of the board where are it doesn't make a lot of sense. >> sure, sure. >> and 652 miles of that have been completed. , so i think what we would do, should the bill pass, is go
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back, look at the kind of fencing we have and say, well, do we want to make it triple what it is or taller than what it is or something of that sort? but we have continually looked at the infrastructure along the border from a security perspective. >> ok. now, you'll also have discretion to waive grounds of inadmissibility. n the part of would-be r.p.i.'s related to criminal background and the language of the bill, i believe, says that you can do that for humanitarian purposes to ensure family unity or if such waiver is otherwise in the public interest. and once you decide to make such a waiver, you have to apply it to the entire class of any persons who might be similarly situated with respect to their own eligibility or lack thereof for r.p.i. status. in what situations do you think you might consider granting that waiver? the kind of waiver discussed on page 65 of the bill.
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>> right. i'm going to caveat on my answers, as of what i know today versus what the bill may change to, so just with that in that ut i could see there would be consideration based on the age of a conviction, the type of a conviction, whether the individual was the primary wage earner for a family, not just a family member, the record since a prior conviction, that kind f inclusive evaluation of an individual. >> ok. nd according to the bill, on page 81 of the bill, an applicant for r.p.i. status may not file application -- an application for that status unless the individual has satisfied all tax obligations
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to the i.r.s. meaning federal income tax. since the date on which the applicant was authorized to work in the united states as an r.p.i. so, if the alien was authorized to work in the u.s. during the time in which he or she was legally auths rised, wouldn't those -- authorized, wouldn't those taxes have already been collected? as i understand it, as i read that language in the bill, it runs from the moment that the would-be r.p.i. was made legal to work in the country and if they weren't legally authorized to work in the country, is that really a significant restriction? >> well, i think the issue that -- the intent of the bill is to make sure that anybody moving to r.p.i. and then ultimately from r.p.i. to l.p.r. has paid all taxes and is paying all taxes. if the language has to be claarified, that's what the committee process is for.
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>> ok. great. thank you very much. there's more we could ask but i see my time's expiringed. i thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. senator franken is not here. >> thank you, chairman leahy. just wanted to at the outset thank you very much, secretary napolitano, d.h.s. has a complicated, difficult, broad-ranging mission and that's just one department. it's responsible for a vast array of important goals at the same time and i'm grateful for your doing your very best and for everyone in the department doing your very best, particularly at this time when we opened this hearing with reflections on the tragedies in boston and in west texas. we're reminded of how grateful we are for everyone in law enforcement and public safety who helps protect us. i'm from the midatlantic region with many ports and with the significant allocation of additional resources under this bill to the southwest border, what assurance can you give us that crehence -- comprehensive immigration reform won't
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further degrade c.b.p.'s ability to perform its customs inspection mission at some of our vital ports around the country? >> i think it's important, and as i review the bill and the intent behind the bill, it is to make sure that the additional activities are paid for through fees and fines and the like. and again, senator, the other parts of the bill, you know, the employment verification and the opening up and clarifying of the visa process, making, you know, more visas available both on a permanent and temporary worker visas this will help the economy grow in err state. >> there's been some discussion back and forth about discretion and under current practice, d.h.s. uses its discretion authority very sparringly. i think studies have shown roughly 1% of all cases. this legislation provides the department with some additional discretion in deportation
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cases, but with very significant limitations. given what's proposed in the bill, how much more should we expect the department to exercise its prosecutorial discretion, say in cases where a u.s. national child would be directly affected? >> well, i think we already do that pursuant to policy. that was one of the points of building some discretion into the enforcement of current law. so i think the intent of the bill again is to simply memorialize some of that in statute. >> under current practice, immigrants spend a significant amount of their time and resources obtaining basic nchings about their own cases before -- basic information about their own cases before appearing before an immigration judge and d.h.h.s. has to spend staff time and resources because there's no discovery process. so, each request for their own files has to go through a process. but the department -- does the
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department have any objection to stream lining this process through simply providing appropriate portions of an immigrant's a-file in advance of a hearing? >> provided we in the resources to pull the a-files, i would have no objection to that. we'd have to see the language. but one of the real logistical issues is some of these a-files, as you know, are contained in large warehouses of paper files. and caves. so given the resources, anything we can do to streamline that employer process would be something to be considered, yes. >> thank you. and my impression is that following a ninth circuit decision in this area, that the department may have actually seen some benefit in terms of the efficiency, the overall efficiency, recognizing the resource limitations? >> that's right. >> my last question's about the e-verify system. what privacy protections need to be put in place or are already in place to ensure employers don't misuse the system and how would this
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legislation improve on it, and given the d.m.v.'s in many states don't comply with their existing obligations under the so-called motor voter law, do you believe it would be constructive or appropriate to give these states additional funds with the assumption that they'll meet their obligations to assist an e-verify implementation? >> i believe the bill constructs an incentive program for states -- a constructive program -- constructs an inventive program for states to put their resources into the e-verify database and that is something we greatly support. i think would be very helpful. >> great. madam secretary, thank you very much for your leadership in this difficult and important area. thank you for your interest today. mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. senator graham. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, madam secretary. it's been a real pleasure working with you and your staff on this very important topic of border security. let me start with the waiver provisions, as inquired by senator lee. it's my understanding that there is no waiver for an
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aggravated felony or a felony or a national security problem. that those three areas are not waiverble. is that correct? >> that's my understanding as well, senator. >> i think the waiver he's talking about is in other areas and again i think that's good to know that there is some discretion. but not in these areas. now, about the -- what we're trying to accomplish here, how much money have we spent on border security since 2005 or 2006? >> billions. >> ok. multiple billions? >> yes, sir. >> i think we have 21,000 border patrol agents at the border now? >> 21,370 i think is today's count. >> that's double what we had in 2005 or 2006, is that correct? >> at least doubled, yes. >> at least doubled. and this bill lets 3,500 more, is that correct? >> it adds 3,500 more c.b.p. officers. yes. >> it adds more people to help secure the border? >> yes, who are stationed at
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the border. they may be at ports, not necessarily between ports. >> but to enforce border security. >> yes. >> so we doubled the number of border patrol agents since 2005 and 2006. this bill, we're adding 3,500 more customs and border patrol officers to help secure the border. under this bill we're also trying to achieve a 24-hour day, seven-day--week presence, situational awareness at the border by having more unmanned aerial vehicles, is that correct? >> yes. i would mention there that i would include not just u.a.v.'s but also different kinds of sensor and radar systems that work better in partial areas of the border. >> we're going to spend $3 billion, i believe, on carrying out a -- the border enforcement strategy? >> the initial phase, yes. >> initial phase. $1.5 billion to try to complete the fencing. >> yes. and we've already had a colloquy about that. >> and flexibility is fine with me. we're also going to allow the national guard to continue to be deployed to secure the
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borders, is that correct? >> that's right. as the governor who was the first task of the national guard at the border, i appreciate that mission assign. >> we're going to increase funding to increase the number of border crossing prosecution tutorson area? >> yes. i think it basically triples those under something called operation streamline. >> so what's it we're doing to enhance the border itself. do you agree with me that controlling jobs inside the country is just as important as building, securing the border? >> at least as important, as i've testified several times. that magnet of illegal labor is a major driver of illegal migration. dealing with the worker side of this is so very important. >> 11 million are coming for employment. we're not being overrun by 11 million canadians them. come to visit, they go back home. they live in a stable country with a stable government and a good economy.
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we're being overrun by people from corrupt and poor countries them. come here to work. and our theory is that not only should you secure the border, but the second line of defense is controlling a job so that if you get across the border, you can't find a job because of e-verify. is that correct? >> that's the intent of the bill, yes. >> ok. so, now, 40% of the people here illegally never came across the border, they came in through a visa system at airports and sea ports. and one of the triggers in this bill is to get an entry-exit system up and running so we'll know when a visa expires. is that correct? >> yes, an electronic entry-exit system, air and sea, yes. >> so the 19 hi jackers on 9/11 were all students here on visas, their visa expired in and the system did not catch that, is that correct? >> that's correct. there are a number of ways that those hijackers would be
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revealed under the bill. >> and now we have a pretty robust guest worker program, providing legal labor to employers who can't find american workers, that's part of the bill, is that yect? >> right. and both for ag but unskilled and high-skilled. >> so the combination of systems work in concert, increasing border security through fencing, technology and man power, controlling finally at a national level who gets a job, plus providing access to legal labor as a multilayered approach to trying to achieve border security, do you agree that they all work in con center >> it is an interwovegen system, absolutely. >> ok. and if we can make it better, let's do it. one last question. you said i think to senator grassley, that the older brother, the suspect who was killed, when he left to go back to russia in 2012, the system
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picked up his departure but did not pick up him coming back. is that correct? >> that's my understanding. i can give you the detail in a classified setting. but i think the salient fact there, senator, is that the .b.i. text alert on him at that point was more than a year old and had expired. >> at the point i'm trying to make is after having talked with the f.b.i., they told me they had no knowledge of him leaving or coming back. the name was misspelled. i'd like to talk to you more about this case. how this man left, where he went, and when we say there was no broader polite here, i don't know how in the world we know that at this early stage. and as to the person giving information, suspect two, the 19-year-old, i would imagine he's going to tell us that his brother was the bad guy and he was a bit player and this wasn't a big deal. i would be shocked if that's
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not the information received from the suspect. that's why i want more time to interview him outside of having the lawyer and investigate the case in a more thorough way. >> if i might, senator, as you know, this is a very active, ongoing investigation. all threads are being pulled. my understanding is there will be a classified briefing for the senate this week. >> i look forward to hearing it. thank you. >> senator hirono. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and, madam secretary, thank you for returning to testify before this committee. we know that you have had and continue to have urgent mats that are require your attention -- matters that require your attention. i want to thank you for pointing out once again to this committee that there are two main drivers of illegal border crossings and one is labor and the second is that it takes so long to get a legal visa to come into our country and that
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this bill addresses both of these issues in ways that should have the effect of decreasing illegal border crossings. is that correct? >> it does. and i think also by doing that allows us to focus our resources on those who are smugglers and narco traffickers and others who really are public safety or national security concerns. >> i think it allows our priorities to be where they ought to be in terms of enforcement. this bill overhauls the current system in ways that will certainly help millions of families reunite with their loved ones. but it will also dramatically restrict the ability of some families to reunite with certain loved ones and this is of particular concern to those who are on the wait list from asia, which is where the major backlogs are. so, i'd like to continue to
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work with the members of the committees and with all of you to seek improvements on the family provisions, to include lgbt families and children of the filipino world war ii veterans. these veterans have been waiting for decades to reunite with their children. so i know that compromise is needed to be made. but i do believe that there are some areas of this bill where it went farther than it needs too -- needed to. specifically this bill eliminates, after 18 month, the sibling category and adult married children category and it replaces it with a merit-based-point system. i believe that the new merit-based visa system will exclude many immigrant family members from reuniting with their u.s. citizen siblings and of course we know how important siblings are as part of a nuclear family structure, because they provide assistance with jobs and emotional and
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financial support. they provide care for a family -- for family members. and in addition there are many times when, for immigrants, a sibling may be the only remaining member of their nuclear family. and in fact i've met a number of people who have been waiting to reunite with their siblings. so, i'm concerned that this bill will no longer provide a meaningful opportunity for u.s. citizens to petition for their siblings. so my question to you, madam secretary, is, what opportunities will siblings have, of u.s. citizens, to be able toimgrate to the united states under the provisions of this bill? >> i think what the intent of the bill is, in exchange for allowing the spouses and children of green cardholders to be excluded in exchange for the recapture provisions of unused visas, and in balance with the increase in
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economic-related visas, the sibling category was basically -- was greatly restricted if not eliminated. but as you mentioned, there are other avenues such as the different work-related visas that a sibling would be eligible for regardless. so, there will be other avenues into thank a sibling could pursue. >> i know that this bill allows siblings to -- under the merit-basis, to get some points for being siblings. however, i early had a hearing of this committee relating to comprehensive immigration reform, its impact on women and children, it became clear that the majority, 70% of immigrant women, attain legal status through family-based immigration systems. and what do you think would be the impact of the merit-based system on which who have nom -- on women who have not had the kind of education and employment opportunities that give them additional points
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that would allow them to score high enough to be able to come in under the merit-based system? >> i think it's difficult to answer that hypothetical. right now i think obviously, again, since spouses no longer count against caps, that is a big improvement where family unification is concerned. spouses of l.p.r.'s and children as well. and i think that in and of itself is a mainly improvement and will deal with a lot of the backlog where women are concerned. >> i think there are probably some ways that we can allow for these kinds of family members to come in so that a nuclear family that consists just of siblings or older married children can -- that issue can be addressed. so i look forward to continuing to work with you. thank you, mr. chairman.
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>> thank you, madam chairman. madam secretary, thank you for joining us. and thank you for the excellent work that you and your agency have done. in particular, over the last week in dealing with and apprehending the boston bomber. it has been a time of great trauma for the country and we are all celebrating that he was apprehended so quickly. >> thank you. >> i'd like to ask questions both dealing with process on this legislation and then also dealing with border security. and starting with process. my office received the text of this bill at 2:25 a.m. on wednesday, april 17. five days ago. he bill is 844 pages long. it is dealing with a very complicated topic. and my first question is, when did your office receive a copy
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of the bill as filed? >> about 3:00 in the morning. i think that's about right. >> in the five days since then, when you have obviously been heavily focused on matters such as the boston bombing, and quite properly focused on matters such as that, have you had the time to read all 844 pages of the bill? >> actually, i have read the bill. i know many sections of the bill fairly well. so i was able to skim those sections. but i have been able to review the bill, yes, sir. >> well, ok, then that has been a busy weekend for you. >> yes, sir. very busy. >> let me shift to the question f border security. metrics of border security are sometimes interesting because at times public officials point to an increase in apprehension as demonstration that border security is working well. and other times it seems
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officials point to a decrease in border apprehensions as evidence that border security is working well. and i guess i'm always a little skeptical of a statistic that rarledless what have it demonstrates -- regardless of what it demonstrates proves the end being put forth. let me just ask an initial question, have apprehensions increased or decreased? >> from when to when? >> when from say this year -- from last year to this year. >> overall, apprehensions have stayed the same except with respect to the southern rio grande valley. where we have had ancrease primarily in illegal immigrants from central america, not from mexico. and i can give you kind of chapter and verse on all that's being done there but it's basically stayed the same in all sectors except that one
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geographic area. >> i guess a little puzzled because earlier this month you told reporters in houston, and i believe this is a quote, i can tell you having worked that border for 20 years it is more secure now than it has ever been. illegal apprehensions are at 40-year lows. >> that is true. >> i want to understand, it goes back to the point i said, that sometimes saying apprehensions are down are signs of success and other times the argument seems to be apprehensions are up. and which is accurately describing what's happening at the boarder? >> both are accurate. if you look at the border, san diego to brownsville, apprehensions are at 40-year lows. the key thing is to sustain that. we know that we are currently having -- >> mama dam secretary, if i can ask you, you submitted that they were higher this year than last year. >> one is referring to border wide, one is referring just to
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the southern rio grande sector. and in that sector apprehensions are higher now. which know the traffic is higher now. actions are being taken to turn that traffic back. >> so your testimony is borderwide apprehensions are down. is that right? i'm trying to understand. >> i think what i just said, senator, is it's about level with last year except with espect to south texas. >> how does d.h.s. measure border security? prior to fiscal year 2011, d.h.s. used a metric called operational control. and as i understand it, d.h.s. is not using that anymore. obviously this bill relies upon d.h.s. having a sound metric for who is attempting to cross this country illegally and who is being prevented from doing so or apprehended. how does d.h.s. actually figure out what's happening and measure success and as a component of that, why is it
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that the department no longer uses the metric of operational control? >> we look at a number of things. we look at apprehensions, but not in and of themselves. e look at crime rates. we look at crime rates. we look at seizures, both inbound and outbo bound. we look at reports from -- outbound. we look at reports from those on the ground at the border. so it's a whole host of things. and one of the things we're really looking for, senator, is hat's the trend? is the trend all in a positive direction which means the boarder is more secure, or not? and so when we look at all of those things, then we can also make decisions about where we need to put even more resources. so, for example, right now we know south texas is problematic
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for us. but we're already and have been moving more technology, man power, etc., in there. i bet we'll see those numbers shift very quickly. >> senator schumer. >> thank you, madam secretary. first i want to thank you for the outstanding job that you are doing not only on this legislation but on so much else , in terms of securing the border and all the other mandates that your position has. second, i would just reiterate this bill is going to be available for everyone to read for three weeks, from the day it was introduced, which is actually six days, not five days, since wednesday at 2:00 a.m. i was there, i introduced it. but, i would also say, you know, that without -- we had senator grassley, and this is not casting any aspersions on senator grassley, introduced an 08-page gun bill at about 11:00 as i remember it on the day we
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voted on it at 2:00 or 3:00. it's a complicated bill. didn't hear any cry about it. by you -- but the main point i want to make, there will be plenty of time for everybody to read the bill thoroughly and prepare amendments, both for members of this committee and members of the floor. i know there's sort of this view, well, this is just like health care and it's not. the health care bill we started debating before it was even introduced. that's not happening here. and we want just to say this. i mean, i think i speak for the eight of us who helped put this together. we want a robust committee process. because last time we didn't have a committee process and the bill collapsed on the floor. now, perhaps if the amendments that were offered on the floor would have been offered in committee exrorks mices could have emerged, discussions could have emerged and we might have gotten a -- avoided. that to have a open, robust committee process, which the
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chairman has agreed to, is in our interest. no one's trying to rush this bill through in any way. i want to make that clear. i think i speak fully on behalf of the eight of us here. i'd now like to talk about the border. so, back in 2010, you may remember that senator mccain and myself sent you the border bill that had a supplemental approach creation of about $600 million. is that right? >> yes. >> and at that time the southern border as a whole had an effective rate of 68%. which meant that of every 100 people that our authorities saw, they were able to catch or turn back 68. after the border bill was passed and after that money was spent, it went up to 82%. is that correct? >> it sounds about right, yes. >> i believe that's the case. so the immigration bill we're passing today actually appropriates 4.-- $4.5 billion and up to $6.5 billion, minimum of $4.5 billion, a maximum of $6.5 billion over the next five
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years. given that the $600 million we appropriated made such progress , can you tell us what kind of security impact we'll have by appropriating more than 10 times the amount in that bill? doesn't it seem to you very logical that we're going to get a much higher rate, a much higher effective rate than we have now? >> yes, senator. i think that's true. i think in particular in my view, the key here is technology and air cover and our ability to procure and implement the best available technology at that border, as we are doing so now, but to be able to speed that up can only improve where we already are. >> yeah. look, i went to the border. it was a revelation to me. senator flake and senator mccain led a trip that senator bennett and i went on. and it's clear that, you know, it's a huge, vast border. i'm from a little tiny state of
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new york. and you can't do it by just lining up people. you don't have enough. but it's amazing. if you use air and particularly drones, you can actually figure out where the people are going and force them, app rehends them -- apprehend them 20, 30, 40 miles inland and the drones have the ability to follow that and we certainly need more drones we need more air. the people on the border made that clear to us. and it should increase the effectiveness rate dramatically, at least in my opinion. >> i agree. the technology as it's implemented will give us more confidence in the denominator which has always been a problem. >> i want to clarify. senator grassley actually rought this up, again, how tightened up security. 's clear that tamerlan tsarnaev, they had no record of him going to russia or coming back because his name was
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misspelled. by a place where we don't have regulations, a foreign airline. under our bill, everything would have to be pass -- passport or machine-read that so type of mistake could not occur. if our bill were law, isn't it a pretty safe guess that the authorities would have known that tsarnaev went to russia and came back? >> if i might, there are redundancies now in the system so there was a ping on the outbound to customs. this is my understanding, this has been kind of changing picture, but even regardless of that, anything that makes a requirement for machine-readable gets manual inputting out of the system, imprombings security. >> all right. ok. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. >> thank you. it was a revelation to go down on the border. we actually watched and illegal border crossing while we were there. >> and an apprehension. >> as you hear.
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and an apprehension. a quick one, too. >> i'd like to ask unanimous consent -- they knew exactly where the person who was climbing the fence would go. he said, we're going to catch her in 20 minutes and they did. it was amazing. >> yeah. >> i think she just heard -- the woman who crossed heard senator schumer's accent through the fence and thought, i'm in new york. where's the statue of liberty? i'm here. [laughter] but anyway, i'm here. , anyway, it was a good trip. it's always good to see the border and see what needs to go on there. let me just touch on that for a second. you talked about apprehension rate and there's been concern for a while about the metrics, obviously, is it true that what we're -- it is true that what we're calling for in the legislation, the effectiveness rate is pretty much what you co-now in terms of -- because senator schumer quoted statistic it is from a couple of years ago, that is within what you're doing now, now you have more
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resources to do it, correct? is that the net snesket we know the denominator, the numb of people who crossed, but with better technology, particularly surveillance, we'll be able to get a better figure there. >> right. but realize, too, that no one number captures the evolving and extensive nature of the border, so that's why i keep saying there's no one metric that your magic -- that's your magic number 42 or something of that sort. these are indicators which taken as a whole give you a picture. >> i take it from your testimony you're comfortable that given the resources provided, given where we are already, you'll be table achieve the 90% effectiveness rate in the high risk sectors? >> if we're not, the border
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provides for the commission and additional resources but let me just share with you that it's not just what's at the border, it's that e-verify, the visas, improving the overall system so that we lessen the drivers of illegal migration. >> that's what i want to focus on next, the so-called second border or employer enforcement. do you see any issues moving ahead with having e-verify mander to in the timetable called for by the legislation, is that achieveable? >> it is achieveable, asouping the resources are available to c.i.s. yes, as i testified, assuming resources, we will implement the bill with the timelines you've given us. >> identity fraud is going to be the achilles heel of employer verification at present. the provisions in the bill, photo tools, do you see them helping in that regard? >> absolutely.
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we're already doing photo match with passports but putting all the r.p.i. i.d.'s into the employee database, very helpful and also incentivizing states to ,ut their motor vehicle records in the licenses database is also helpful. >> what i'm worried about, e-verify cab tell if a social security number is valid but can it tell if the same number is being used in other states? >> if the same number is being used in several places, that will get flagged. >> an individual can say, i have my job, i'm going to lock my number so it can't be used elsewhere. >> that's correct. >> and if a number does pop up in montana or new york or somewhere else, then that's
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flagged now where it currently is not. >> that's my understanding in the bill. yes, sir. >> thank you. thank you for your testimony. >> thank you, senator sessions. >> thank you, madam secretary. this bill gives the secretary, you, extraordinary discretion if it were to become law in making many, many decisions about how the law would be carried out in light of what has been happening in recent months and years, that causes me a great deal of concern. on october of 2011, at an oversight hearing, i shared with you the concerns of your immigration customs enforcement officer that i described how your department has been more focused on meeting with special interest pro-immigration groups than supporting them and in helping them accomplish what the law requires in this country. since then, i've asked you have
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you met with those officers and you said no. today, have you met with the officers and the border -- the i.c.e. officers association? >> have i met with the union leadership, no? have i spoken with i.c.e. and border patrol officers in the field, yes. >> i think you should have met with them. i think there's a real problem there. we have a very real problem. in december of 2012, a few months agoing a survey of federal agencies showed that morale of i.c.e. employees had dropped in ranking to 279th out of 291 federal agencies. were you aware that the morale at i.c.e. had plummeted? >> oh, yes. in fact, employee morale is a real concern of mine and it's not just in i.c.e. but throughout the department. >> are you aware a lawsuit has
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been filed? are you aware that really two years ago, a boat of -- a vote of no confidence in i.c.e. director john morton was held and nothing has been done, apparently, to deal with his failed leadership at that agency? >> senator, under his direction, i.c.e. is actually actually increased enforcement efforts, installed real priorities for the fers time, he actually gets criticized for deporting too many people as opposed to not enough people. so it's a difficult, difficult job to have but when you look overall at the operation of i.c.e. and where it was four years ago, they have removed more people, they have enstalled real priorities and we now have secure communities installed nationally. >> i couldn't disagree more. i can't disagree more about that. that's not what the officers are saying. that's not what the head of the
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association testified to yesterday. let me ask you this, -- well, she was interrupting my comments. >> i apologize, i didn't mean to interrupt. >> i just would say that i don't believe that's accurate. testified that agents are prohibited from enforcing the law and indeed the i.c.e. officers have filed a lawsuit. i started out as a federal prosecutor in the department of justice in 1975. i have never heard of a situation in which a group of law officers sued their supervisor, and you, for blocking them from following a law. they weren't complaining about pay, benefits, working conditions, they were saying their very oath they took to enforce the law is being blocked by rules and regulations and policies established from on high and that this is undermining their ability to do
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what they're sworn to do. >> may i respond? >> yes. >> there are tensions with union leadership, unfortunately, but here's what i expect as a former federal prosecutor and attorney general and that is that law enforcement agents will enforce the law in accord with the guidance they are given from their superiors. and that's what we ask of i.c.e., that's what we ask of border patrol, that's what we ask throughout the department. i believe that would be consistent with all law enforcement. enforcement 't set priorities, they are set by their superiors and they are asked to do that in afford with the law. >> what he testified to was that there are law provisions that say agents shall do this, that, and the other and the policies set by their political
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supervisors refuse to allow them to do what the law plainly requires. you are not entitled to set policy, are you, that violate the mandates of congressional law? >> if i might, senator, i disagree with almost everything you've said but we'll have to respectfully disagree with each other but i think it does point to why this bill needs to be passed. because what we want our officers doing is focusing on narco traffickers and human smugglers and money launderers and others who misuse our border and immigration system. by having a process by which those in the country illegally can pay a fine, pay fees, register so we know who they are, by dealing with the employer demand for illegal labor, by opening up the visa system, that effect basically of confirming
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the focus of resources where they need to be. >> madam secretary, i appreciate that but i'm worried about the vigor of this department and your leadership and mr. morton's. i will note removals by i.c.e. are down 40% than when director morton issued his 2011 prosecution memorandum that basically undermined prosecutorial ability to function. >> i think the secretary -- >> that's why the morale is so low. >> i think the secretary has answered the question and of course filing a lawsuit does not mean the person filing it wins the lawsuit. let's see how the lawsuit comes out. in the meantime, senator franken. >> thank you, mr. chairman. before i begin, secretary, napolitano, i want to thank you for your department's response to the boston bombings, our thoughts and prayers have been with you and all law enforcement
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and national security professionals in boston and across the country. you did an outstanding job and -- in quickly tracking down and capturing the perpetrators. thank you for your work. turning to immigration reform, aye going to focus my questions on some things i'm a little worried about in the bill but i ust want to be clear that this overall package is a giant step forward. a giant step forward. sorry. excuse me. i really believe this is going to -- going a long, long way to fixing a broken immigration system and it will help businesses and families alike. my first question, madam speaker, is about the -- madam secretary, is about the e-verify mandate in this bill. i'm worried that errors in the
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system are going to hurt legal workers and small businesses, big companies have the resources to deal with this. they have b.r human departments worried about the smallamily business where the humansoces de the accountant, may also be the sales force, may also be your spouse. and you don't have time to deal with a system that isn't working 100% properly. one in five businesses in minnota is a small business of 20 employees or less. the department is currently self-reporting and their rate of one out of 380 workers, for every 380 people run through the e-verify system, the department says that's one -- that one legal authorized worker is wrongly rejected, at least
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temporarily. madam secretary, that error rate is a lot lower than the last independent audit. will the department be able to maintain this kind of error rate in five years when the e-verify mandate would apply to all american businesses? >> you know, senator, that's certainly our intention and even to drive that error rate down. one of the other things we have added to the system is the ability of individuals to self-check where they are in the e-verify to go online and check and see if their entry is adequate before they apply for employment. we've also set up a very quick system where things can be corrected if an error rate occurs. but when you look at the history of the e-verify system over the last six year, you have seen that error rate really substantially diminish. we're going to continue to work in that regard. >> so you believe you can be there on that error rate or bet her >> yes.
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>> ok, good. because an independent audit in 2009, as you know, had a higher error rate, 140 -- one out of every 140 kicked out, a false negative, someone who was a legal worker who -- and that sounds low but you wouldn't want that working on your credit card, on out over 140 purchases or your car starting or something. and in the 2009 audit, it took legal workers an average of seven to 13 days to get those errors fixed. i heard one account of a u.s. citizen, former captain in the u.s. navy, with 34 years of service and a high level of security clearance, he was flagged as an illegal worker and it took him two months to resolve the issue. i've heard similar complaints from employers in minnesota. so madam secretary, isn't it critical that e-verify have
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these low error rates, lower error rates if it will be mandatory for every business in the country, including small businesses. >> yes. it will be important to continue to achieve that, senator, that c.i.s. get the resources needed for implementation of national verification. >> and that was that old 2009 -- i know that d.h.s. has its own errors, showing the lower rate, but i think independent audits are what we need here and we're a matter of days to starting, we're discussing this bill now, we can't legislate on the basis of a study no one has seen. would you pledge us to release that data? >> i don't know the specific data which to the which you refer. >> the report -- >> if it's a report, we'll make
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it available to you. >> thank you. finally i want to thank you and your staff for providing feedback on my bill, the help separated children act, this is a priority for me i hope i can count on you and your continuing help with that. >> yes, sir. >> thank you so much. mr. chairman. >> before i go to senator lee, i understand that senator durbin was here and wished to ask some questions. senator lee if you could hold off just a moment. senator durbin had been here earlier, i think he may have had to step out. senator lee, go ahead. i promised you a second round. please keep toyota five minutes, the secretary does have to go. >> thank you, mr. chairman,
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thank you, madam secretary. i want to correct something i said earlier, i cited page 281 about the tax liability issue, that talks about the tax liability but what i should have referred to you pages 88 and 89 of the bill, the standard as it is stated is ambiguous as to when it would trigger the back tax liability. so we'll move on from that but i wanted to acknowledge i had given you a citation error and the standard is in fact broad enough it would give you discreppings to identify as the secretary what documentation they would prove to show they had fulfilled their obligation to pay back taxes. but we'll move on from there. i wanted to talk about another provision this one on page 63 of the bill, that deals with who is
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eligible and who is not eligible for r.p.i. status. it waives eligibility -- ineligibility, inadmissability, for l.p.i. status for those who have received orders of deportation but thereafter either absconded, meaning they didn't leave the country but they fled after having been ordered deported. or they returned to the united states following an order of deportation after which they returned to their home country or to another country system of i'm a little bit concerned that this provision in particular, separate and apart from what anyone thinks about the rest of the path to legalization and eventually citizenship. but this might reward conduct that seems to be in pretty clear violation of a court order. do you agree with this policy? is this policy something that causes you concern from an enforcement standpoint as the
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cabinet official in charge of enforcing our laws? >> right, and i had read the bill, i have not memorized the pages of the bill but i believe the intent of the provision that you are citingle is a, kind of , if -- a family reunification project in a sense if someone has been removed and they would otherwise qualify for r. implet and meet certain other criteria, they would be aloud back in the country or i can allow them back in the country. enge that's one of the balances struck in the bill, family unification and -- versus economic benefit and enforcement. >> ok. so your recollection of that provision is that it's discretionary, it's not automatic? >> i'd have to look at the bill itself but my understanding is that the intent is to give us the ability to waive someone in
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who was previously removed under certain limited circumstances. >> ok. ok. i will check that as well and follow up in writing with any floleup questions. from the date of the enactment until the end of the r.p.i. period, the bill as i understand it prevents anyone from being detained or deported or even apprehended as long as they appear prima facie eligible for r.p.i. status. the r.p.i. period lasts -- could last as much as three or three and a half years if the extension is granted which you have the authority to extend. we heard from some i.c.e. agents in hearings before the committee that their work has been a similart times with prohibition where people claim prima facie eligibility for daca, simply by say, i qualify
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under daca, and enforcement stops. this could amount to a three or three and a half year enforcement holiday where nobody, as long as they know to invoke these provisions, may not be apprehended or deported as long as they utter the imagine exwords. do you share that concern. >> first of all it's not my intent to take all those extensions, assuming i'm here, or my successor, we have every interest in implementing this as quickly as possible. and -- but secondly, if someone is -- has an aggravated felony conviction a felony conviction, if they were a public safety risk or national security risk they fall within our priorities they wouldn't qualify for r.p.i. and again since we want to focus on those who have those kinds of records and get them removed from our country, i think we
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would handle that very effectively as we enbegin to enforce this new regime. >> thank you, madam secretary. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator lee. senator durbin is one of the ones who has written this bill. >> thank you. mr. chairman, madam secretary, your title says it all, homeland security. in light of what happened in boston, everyone is more sensitive to this issue this week than they were 10 days ago. certainly understandable. i think, i've said, i'm sure you've said it but i want to confirm here as the closing sthart to ask questions, do you believe that the passage of this immigration reform bill will make america safer and more secure? >> absolutely. >> first, the notion that up to 11 million undocumented people will step forward, be identified by our government as to who they are, where they live, where they work, be subject to a criminal
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background checking seems obvious to me that with that knowledge we will be a safer nation. >> senator, yes, we'll have more identifications, more metrics, more biographics -- biographic review, not just against law nforcement holdings but nctc holdings, so it increases security in that, and a number of police chiefs have told me, right now for that group that's kind of been the gray area, limbo, what have you, they are reluctant to come forward when they've been a victim of a crime a witness to a crime, so forth, allowing them to get r.p.i. status and begin that pathway will help alleviate that law enforcement problem as well. >> i won't dwell on the border aspects of the bill. it is clear we have made historic investments in the security of our border between the united states and mexico than bill will go further. i would like to address a couple
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other areas that are topical. one relates to the -- those coming to the united states seeking asylum. i want to make it clear and for the record, there is nothing in this bill that weakens the authority nor the responsibility of your department and the agencies of our federal government to establish through rigorous biometric and biographic checks, through law enforcement and intelligence checks, including the f.b.i., department of defense and other agencies, whether those seeking asylum would pose any threat to the united states. >> that's right. as i shared with chairman leahy at the beginning of the hearing, as you go through that asylum application process, there are a number of times when individuals are rechecked, recredited against law enforcement, national security databases, re-interviewed, and then information is also gathered out the credibility of the
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prosecution. >> i know you're aware of my interest in the drain act and i want to applaud you and the president against for daca and ask you to respond to the criticism which was lodged yesterday by one of the witnesses from kansas about whether or not those who have gone through daca check should be closer to provisional status than those who have not. >> i think that's -- i thought that was a really good part of a draft, we can accelerate schedule, we've already checked them in a variety of ways and actually, senator, the daca process itself really gives us a good pilot on how we would do the much larger r.p.i. process >> so one of the other aspects, i know e-verify has been discussed here, which is an important linkage between employment, identification, and security but i want to go to the
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other, that is one that has been worrisome and challenging for more than 10 years and that relates to visa holders who come to the united states, being hold you can stay for certain purpose or a southeastern period of time and the fact that our system at least up to today has been unable to track their departure so we close the loop. they arrive, stay, and left as promised. part of this immigration reform moves us to a new level, a new stage, where to increase security and safety in the united states, we will develop the technology and the means to establish that. can you tell me in light of what we've been through in trying to reach that goal, your level of confidence that we can reach that in the near future. >> well, the electronic exit system for air and sea in the bill is very consistent with the plan we have already submitted to the congress and what we are
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implementing now. so it is an achieveable goal as referenced, or as stated in the bill as drafted. >> i just closed by saying, i stated publicly and i hope that you agree, the worst thing we can do at this moment in america's history is nothing. to step back and say, just accept this broken immigration system, the weaknesses in our security and safety that are associated with it, and resign ourselves to that as our future. i think that is the worst outcome. i invite you to respond. >> senator, i couldn't agree with you more. as i said at the beginning of the hearing, i think the draft bipartisan bill really embraces the principals, the president enunciated, it's a much better system than the one we have now, it deals with security but also economic growth and vitality, so it's a bill that i'm very
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hopeful can move forward. > thank you very much. >> just so everybody would know, senator blumen that will and senator white it is house, senator grassley has asked for a second round. senator lee has already had his second round. nobody else has asked for a sec round. we go to senators blumen that will, whitehouse and grassley and wrap up because we eyou have to get to another matter. >> thank you for being here today and for your excellent and helpful testimony. i'd like to ask a question that perhaps you may have answered in a different way during the course of your testimony but if you had one or two or three points where you think this bill should be changed, as you've -- so as to be improved and it is a
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bipartisan bill, it advances the debate, i think, immeasurably and i must -- i'm a supporter and i believe very strongly with senator durbin that the worst thing to do now would be to do nothing. but every measure can use some constructive scrutiny and id wonder if you would have any suggestions about how this bill might be improved. >> well, one, we have -- well one we have discussed, that is rather than create a separate fence fund per se is to have one security fund out of which fencing and other things are paid for so that the secretary and the operators who actually have to manage that board ver more flexibility with those moneys. i would recommend that. and the second area, and we will work on -- work with committee staff on this, senator, is to make sure the language about
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funding flows and which accounts and so forth is accurate and clear because we want to make sure it's consistent with appropriations in the budget -- >> and we'll break away here, the u.s. house gaveling in for a couple of bills, making technical and clarifying. postp on postponed questions will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and ass h.r. 1067, to make revisions in title 36, united states code, as necessary to keep the current -- the title current and make technical corrections and improvements as positive law. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the -- report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1067, a bill to make revisions in title 36, united states code, as necessary to keep the title current and make technical corrections and improvements.
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the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, and the gentlewoman from california, mrs. bass, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on h.r. 1067, currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise today to bring before the house h.r. 1067, a bill ranking member conyers and i introduced to make revisions in title 36, united states code, as necessary to keep the title current and make technical corrections and improvements. all changes made by this bill are purely technical in nature this bill was prepared by the house -- by the office of the law revision council of the house of representatives as part of its ongoing responsibility to prepare and
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submit periodically to the committee on the judiciary proposed bills to maintain titles of the united states code that have been enacted into positive law. h.r. 1067 is an important bill because it ensures that the u.s. code is up to date and usable. for these reasons i urge my colleagues to support this legislation and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california. >> i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, i'm pleased to join chairman goodlatte in supporting h.r. 1067. this commonsense, noncontroversial bill was authored by the chairman together with ranking member conyers as an original co-sponsor. ms. bass: it makes long overdue technical revigs to title 36 of the u.s. code pertaining to the patriotic and national observances and ceremonies, patriotic and national organizations and treaty obligation organizations. this legislation has a history
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of strong bipartisan support. in the 112th congress, chairman smith and ranking member conyers introduced identical legislation that passed the house by a vote of 392-0. last month, the judiciary committee ordered the bill reported favorably by voice vote without amendment on march 14. h.r. 1067 was prepared by the office of the law revision council as part of the statutory responsibility to draft and submit to the judiciary committee a complete restatement and revision of the permanent laws of the united states. mong the revisions that h.r. 1067 makes are the following. it replaces the table of contents with a more tomp rehencive version. it updates and formats the chapter head offings reserve chapters and makes other necessary technical corrections this measure is not intended to
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make any substantial changes to the law. i thank chairman goodlatte and ranking member conyers for their leadership on this legislation and i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 1067 and i yield bethe balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: i thank the gentlewoman for her remarks. this is bipartisan legislation, it makes technical but important changes to title 36 of the united states code and i urge my colleagues to support it and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1067? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair -- mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker. on that i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until
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counted. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. goodlatte: i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1068 to enact title 54 united states code national park service and related programs as positive law as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the titetholve ebill -- title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 106 , a bill to enact title 54 united states code, national park service and related programs as positive law. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, and the gentlewoman from california, ms. bass, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislate i days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on h.r. 1068 currently
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under consideration as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. good lat: i yield myself such time as i may consume and rise to bring before the house h.r. 1068, a bill to enact title 54 united states code, national park services and related programs as positive law. until now laws relating to the organization and management of the national park system have been classified as part of title 16, not in one distinct place but rather dispersed throughout the title. over time, these code classifications have become very cumbersome to use. ranking member conyers and i introduced this bill to organize all the provisions relating to the national park system and restate them as a new, positive law title of the united states code. the new positive law provisions replace the existing provisions which are repealed by the bill. all changes made by this bill are purely technical in nature. this bill was prepared by the office of the law revision
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counsel of the house of representatives as its ongoing responsibility to me pair and submit to the committee on the judiciary, a complete compilation and restate osm the general and permanent laws of the eunited states. the bill was prepeared in accordance with the statutory standard for codification legislation which is that the restatement that will conform to the understood policy intent and purpose of congress in the origin that will enactment with such amendments an crecks as will remove ambiguities, contradicks and other imperfections. h.r. 1068 will ensure that the u.s. code is accurate, up-to-date and usable. i urge my colleagues to support this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california. ms. bass: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i'm pleased to join chairman goodlatte in supporting h r. 1068 as amended.
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chairman goodlatte and ranking member conyers introduced this bill that enjoys bipartisan support. this was drafted by the office of the law revision council as part of its ongoing statutory to prepare and submit to the judiciary committee a complete compilation, restatement and revision of the general permanent laws of the united states. h.r. 1068 concerns the national park system which is managed by the national park service. as many of us know, numerous laws relating to these entities have been enacted since the mid 19th century. these laws including, for example, the historic sites, buildings and antiquities act and the national historic preservation act and other provisions intended to protech and preserve sites that document our nation's history. these laws have been codified in scattered sections of in title 16 of the united states code. in addition, as laws relating to e -- to the park system were
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added it's become cumbersome to use. h.r. 1068 is not intended to make any significant changes in the law. as is typical with the codification process, a number of minor revisions are made including reorganization of the section into a more ocoherent overall structure. this measure collects provisions relating to the national park system, outdoor recreation programs that secretary of he the interior administers and the responsibility of the secretary to preserve historic sites and buildings all of which are currently found in various places throughout title 16 of the united states code and restates the provisions as a new positive law title of the code. on march 14, 2013rk the judiciary committee ordered h.r. 1068 favorably reported by voice vote. the amended version of the bill we are considering on the floor today is essentially the same as the version reported by the
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committee, except that it makes minor typographical corrections. i commend the chairman and member for their work on this bill and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia. mr. goodlatte: i want to thank the gentlewoman from california, congresswoman bass, for her support in helping us move this legislation through the house today. it is a technical correction but an important improvement to our united states code and i urge my colleagues to support it and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1068. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair 2/3 being in the affirmative -- mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker. on that i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted.
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a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceed option this otion will be postponed. pursuant to clause 12a of rule
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this is a result of the choice they made to embrace the sequester as, and i'm quoting republicans, a victory for the tea party and a home run. i'm not sure if leaders in the republican party and congress agree with those assessments now because they obviously change thared position on the sequester a variety of times over the last several months.
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it never should have become olicy. this is congress' responsibility. it needs to take action. >> there are a couple of groups of senators making proposals saying the administration has the opportunity to prioritize spending, senator blumenthal suggesting that it caught to be postponed to give congress the chance to revisit sequestration. a couple of other senators a republican and a democrat, asking the transportation secretary and head of the f.a.a. if they might be able to move money around.
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>> the result of the sequester is -- that but let's be clear about the actions the f.a.a. has taken and the actions it cannot take because of the way the budgets are structure and the way that the law imposing the sequester is written. the department of transportation is required by law to cut about $1 billion between now and the end of this -- and the end of september. that's $637 billion from the f.a.a. there are restrictions on travel and reductions to contracts among other savings but the fact is 70% of the f.a.a.'s operations intudget personnel. there's no way to avoid it. secretary lahood came to this
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briefing proom and laid this out as what would be an inevitable consequence if sequester were to become law. were to be implemented and over time all of these other measures were implemented and the final action had to be done that's just a fact. the president's forward a balanced plan that would replace sequester and reduce our deficit while making the investments that are necessary to have our economy grow and create jobs, protect the middle class and protect seniors and the president is engaged in a process with lawmakers where he is trying to find common ground to see if common ground exists with republicans around the basic principal -- principle we need to reduce the deficit in a balanced way. he has put forward a plan that would to that and eliminate the sequester in the process. when it comes to these delays, congress has to act in order to avert delays. >> senator moran says the fact
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that you're not asking for the ability to prioritize spending under the f.a.a. suggests you want -- you want the sequester to inflict -- >> that's -- since we did everything we could to avert the sequester and unfortunately republicans decided as a political matter that it was a home run for them to inflict this upon the american people, i think that suggestion just doesn't hold water. secondly, the f.a.a. did take action, all the act it could under the law, to produce savings an avoid furloughs up until this point where because of the nature of their budget and the personnel-heavy nature of their operation, furloughs are the only option available o the f.a.a. at this time. again if congress wants to address this matter, then they should act. this is something this only by
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law congress can do. >> can you give us an answer on what the administration is doing right now in terms of dealing with the significant delays, several hundred yesterday and many others being reported again today. what can you do at this point to try to reconcile the situation for travelers? >> i believe you're asking accept reat questions. as a matter of how we resolve our budget, disagreements that have led to the imposition of the sequester, the decision by republicans to embrace the sequester -- >> i understand that part. >> and spend a lot of time insisting there were no consequences to the sequester and suddenly when there are consequences they don't like to start pointing fingers when in fact they have the opportunity to avert this and avoid it. our interest is in eliminating the sequester entirely, it never should have become law. the president has put forward a way to avoid the sequester. when it comes to ways the
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f.a.a. has taken to deal with this, i refer you to the f.a.a. those are matters of traffic control and safety, and to the department of transportation in general. >> remarks from jay carney, talking about legislation introduced by jerry moran and senator blumenthal, you can see that press conference any time on our website at c-span.org. >> jessica and olivia are second prize winners in our student cam competition. their message to the president focuses on health care reform. >> in america, there many who don't have health care or the
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means to achieve it. president obama is planning to change with this the affordable care act, better known as obama care. >> the affordable care act is an all-encompassing reform act to provide health insurance for millions of people in the country. >> it has rules that prevent insurance companies from dropping them because of cos or pre-existing conditions, it also requires that all americans have health insurance or pay a tax, starting in 2014, with an individual mandate. >> another big part of obamacare is to expand access to affordable health care coverage so a lot of people were not covered by health care because either their employer didn't cover it or it was too expensive. >> people who believe that the law is fair and constitutional believe that everyone should have health insurance. that everyone should have an equal opportunity to access
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health care. they believe that the reform will lower the cost of health insurance and greatly improve the economy. >> the industry in general feels that people need access to these products. they save lives. they keep people healthy and out of more expensive modes of care. that means out of, say, a hospital setting or out of a physician's office. >> it offers the chance for younger people to stay on their parents' insurance longer so for college students today that are taking five years because they're doing an advanced degree, it allows them to be kept on their parents' insurance until they get a job that maybe offers it. >> i'm a strong supporter of the affordable care act because it does help, it provides more patient protections and number two, it provides more affordable health care to more people, number three, it will,
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i believe, begin to bring down the overall cost of health care, and then it provides people who are on medicare, seniors, with additional benefits, so for example, they get free preventive care services which we want to encourage because we want people to catch their diseases early. and it provides seniors a little bit more help in paying for their prescription drugs. >> those who oppose the health care law doubt that the act will help the economy or health care in any way. they strongly disapprove of the government controlling their health care. >> now why is the bill so in need of repeal? it's going to have a devastating impact on the american economy, on fiscal policy, on the quality of american health care, and on healthy political discourse in the united states. >> there are a number of important elements in the new law, particularly around medicare payment reform, that
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could help achieve better care at a lower cost, the challenge is for a lot of the reasons that bob discussed, these are not automatic and they're not going to be ease the gentleman yields back the balance of his time to implement and it is going to take some real changes in medicare processes and some changes in how the rest of the health care system interacts with medicare. >> there are concerns that obamacare if you understand it in a derogatory way, would ultimately mean rationing health care to americans, giving them less than they paid for, perhaps even invoking what sarah palin called death panel the fear we would start rationing care to people on their death beds who would be asked to die rather than consume more health care. i think based on the fact that we have, we find that to be patently false but it does give rise to an important question, which is how do we contain health care costs in this country? >> the costs of medicare, medicaid, is skyrocketing.
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it's clearly not going to be sustainable. and i think it's questionable whether obama care has really provided the solution to the fundamental cost of health care. >> many politicians have proposed new ideas to replace obama care. governor mitt romney writes -- what we need is a free market federalist approach to raising -- to making quality, affordable health insurance available to every american. each state should be allowed to pursue its own solution in this regard, instead of being dictated to by washington. >> recently the supreme court upheld the affordable care act, stating that the government did have the power to tax insurance but could not force people to buy health insurance. >> here's the danger when the federal level takes a position where they can tell someone whether they purchase a product or service is that where does
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this stop? >> the opponents of the affordable care act in that case were arguing that congress did not have authority to pass the affordable care act, it went beyond the congress' limits as those limits are set out in the constitution of the united states. one of the arguments you may have frequently heard was if congress can force you to purchase health insurance, which is what the individual mandate does require, then congress can force you to buy anything. >> in president obama's next term of office, how do you think the president should address the debate concerning obamacare? >> i think he will move to the next stepping -- the next step, there's still a lot of things that need to be put into place, the administration has to work through them to put out rules and regulations so states know what to do, so insurers know what to do, and so
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pharmaceutical companies know what to do, and patients and physicians. >> the biggest challenge for them is keeping the piece of it intact over time. so that's what's their challenge. >> health care costs keep greing and -- growing and growing and gring. part of that is, there are always new procedures being invented, new drugs and that's great, on one hand because that helps cure diseases, but if we can't afford it if we just have so many people who are retirement age and receiving benefits, at some point we have to make some choices about how can we cush those costs. >> i think we need to fully implement obamacare, the affordable care act. there are many really important pieces that need to come into effect. that should be our focus on implementing the existing law. in a way that accomplishes its
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purposes. >> how do we equalize costs and minimize costs both to employers and to hospitals and ultimately to patients and the government? and make people feel safe in their quality of health. i think that's the challenge for president obama's next term in office. >> because of the controversy and debate that it's caused, the affordable care act is one of the most important issues that president obama should address in his next term. we desperately need to reform our current health care system. by reforming the health care system into something we can all agree on, we can improve the economy and benefit all americans. even the ones who cannot currently afford health care. >> congratulations to all the winners in this year's student cam competition. to see more winning videos, go to studentcam.org. >> today a senate commerce subcommittee heard about the 2014 budget request for the coast guard and national ocean
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edge and atmospheric association. we'll hear how budget cuts impacted the readiness of both agencies and what can be done to combat that in the future. this is about an hour and a half. >> the subcommittee on the , nate committee on commerce science subcommittee on oceans and fisheries, thank you for attending. we'll be covering the coast guard and noaa's operating budget today so thank you for being here. again, welcome. admiral pat, commandant of the coast guard and dr. kathy sullivan, acting administrationor of the national oceanic and atmospheric administration. both the coast forward and noaa provide vital services for our nation. they carry out a wide array of civil and military presponsabilities that touch every aspect of the u.s. maritime sector. they protect the nation's
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maritime economy, defend our maritime borders, safeguard our ports and save those in peril on the sea. last year the coast guard responded to some 20,000 search and rescue cases nationwide and saved more than 3,500 lives. they saved millions of dollars in property, stopped thousands of undocumented migrants from entering the country and seized hundreds of tons of drugs. the coist guard also deploys forces in support of our troops, conducts humanitarian missions and leads the response to pollution incidents. perhaps nowhere is their important better known than in my own home state of alaska. we have a great tv show about the coast guard too. our economy is based on the fishing industry, the state transportation and other maritime commerce and recreational boating. we are proud to be home of the nation's largest coast forward base and with cutters and air
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stations, small boat stations and many dedicated and talented guards men and women throughout the state. last year the coast guard operation arctic shield was an unprecedented deployment of personnel, cutters and aircraft above the arctic circumstancele to respond to the increased shipping and energy activity in hat fast-changing environment. congress should ensure that the coast guard has the tools they need to do all we ask them to do. while our nation struggles with finding a responsible balance of fiscal restraint with a budget that meets our needs and responsibilities, i'm concerned about the nearly $1 billion reduction proposed in the coast guard fiscal year 2014 budget. last year we passed an authorization bill for the coast guard that authorized over $17 million more than the president's request would provide. it represented a